The most deprived section among the tribals in Rajasthan is concentrated
in the 'Scheduled Area' declared so by the president of India. The scheduled
area in the state includes the districts of Dungarpur, Banswara, Chittorgarh,
Udaipur district and Abu Road Tehsil of Sirohi district. The tribal groups
inhabiting this region are Garasiyas and bhils. Through the centuries and
decades, tribals have been pushed to the fringe and in to inaccessible
area. Their 'space' has been shrinking considerably.
The predominantly agrarian economy of the state depends on monsoon rainfall.
The state has different food security/insecurity zones. Due to frequent
droughts and lack of alternative livelihood options, this part experiences
large-scale migration to the neighbouring Gujrat state in order to escape
hunger. Tribals in the south Rajasthan, on the other hand, face chronic
starvation and large number of starvation deaths has been reported from
this area. Government has a good number of food security schemes running
for its poorest people.
The major social welfare schemes include PDS, BPL, Antyodaya and Annapurna
Anna Yojna, Mid Day Meal (MDM), and ICDS that target people vulnerable
to starvation and malnutrition. But their targeting is abysmal. Problem
of budget and implementation persists. The root cause of hunger lies in
the denial of right to food security.
Jan Chetna Sansthan realized the acute need of the tribals and it took
active and critical part in the ongoing right to food campaign. It also
took initiative for the improvement of BPL identification process and held
the state responsible for non-accessibility of food security schemes through
public hearings and social audits. It was also a part in the national struggle
for the passage of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which would
ultimately give the purchasing power to the tribal poor to get at least
two meals a day for themselves. Jan Chetna Sansthan worked enthusiastically
since the very beginning of the implementation of this act and it has started
bearing its fruit in the form of better life of the tribals.