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Tripura to protect endangered tribes
Published on 17 Mar. 2011 12:45 AM IST
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The Tripura government has embarked upon numerous socio-cultural and economic programmes to protect the dwindling and endangered tribes of the state, a minister said here Wednesday.
“Since 1971, Tripura Tribal Research Institute (TTRI), along with other organisations, has been playing a key role to preserve the life and culture of the backward tribals,” Tripura Tribal Welfare Minister Aghore Debbarma told the state assembly.
Expressing concern, the house, cutting across party lines, urged the government to take adequate steps to protect the diminishing tribes, their traditional life, culture and socio-economic position.
According to the TTRI, the ratio of tribal population to total population in the northeastern state gradually decreased from 50.25 percent in 1931 to 31.05 percent in 2001, in spite of upward growth of total population.
“This demographic disequilibria in respect of tribal and non-tribal people of this bordering state has been primarily caused by influx of refugees from the then east Pakistan, now Bangladesh,” TTRI’s official paper said.
The minister, citing example, said: “The number of families of Korbong tribe over the years have been reduced to 20-25 families. Through marriage and other ways, they are gradually mingling with other tribes.”
According to researcher Harihar Debnath, there were over 200 families of Korbong tribe in 1931.
Tripura has 19 tribes and the tribals constitute 31.05 percent of the state’s total population of 3.8 million (2001 census).
“The life, culture, language and customary laws are different of the 19 tribes. By religion, most of the Tripura tribes follow Hinduism. But a large section of tribals belong to Christianity, while Chakmas and Mogs follow Buddhism,” said Debnath.

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