There are more than 600 recognized „Scheduled Tribes“ in India and they constitute 8% of the population.
The Nilgiris District is one of the smallest Distric in Tamil nadu comprises about 7 groups of Tribal’s namely: Paniyas, Kurumbas, Kattu Nayakar, Todass, Kothas and Oorali Kurumbas.
The development of this areas throughout the years started with the discovery of these territories lands by the Europeans, who forced the indigenous tribes to lead a life of animals without enjoying the basic rights of freedom. They were reduced to slaves, bought and sold together with the land they lived in.
Today, they live in small houses of mud or bamboo, without kitchen or toilet. Some of them work in fields for limited wages. Some others work in the Forest Department of the Mudumalai national park training elephants used for timber work of temple festivals. Few children are sent to school by parents who do not value education due of their low life conditions. Furthermore there are no proper roads of foot paths leading to the faraway schools.
There are circa 300 villages in the Nilgiris District area and the people live without any form of civilization and around the forest there is no possibility to get drinking water, electricity or clothes.
The indian organization Tribal Welfare Trust ( TWT) is planning to provide the villages with the basic needs for life: water, electricity and more hygienic houses with facilities of sanitation to prevent diseases. And it’s striving to make the people aware of the importance of education in order to improve life improvement, for their basic rights of freedom and welfare.