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CHENCHUS' Situation

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The Chenchus Tribes of the Nallamala Forest of the Krishna River Valley are vanishing along with the Flora and Fauna?

Yes, Chenchus population is dwindling because of their inseparableness with the Nature, while the main stream population is growing with alarming growth rate. The continuing over exploitation of forest wealth reflected in the livelihood of the Chenchus and gathering forest resources becoming scarce. Chenchus are encountering hunger, poverty, disease, and destitution in the habitats.

United Nations identified Chenchus as the Indigenous Tribes of the Nallamala Forest of the Krishna River Valley. The Government of India taking special care not to be vanished had notified them as Primitive Tribal Groups.

The Government of Andhra Pradesh in conformity with the National Tribal policy, made its policies to integrate the Tribal population with main stream, and designed welfare projects in consultations only with the scholars and bureaucrats but not also with the Chenchus.

In implementation, the projects did not yield anticipated results because the project was not known to the Chenchus, as they were not designed in consultations with the Chenchus. The development personnel hardly reach them to deliver their services as their habitats situated in mountainous areas. The Development personnel’s half commitment, corruption crippled the projects. In addition activities of Maoists and counter activities of police, kept them in fear to not to go into the forest to gather food and to gather forest produce to sell at Girijan Corporation, for buying food had become a great problem for Chenchus.

Despite the above problems, some committed Government officer’s intervention, Chenchus initiated to cultivate the forest lands to sustain their lives. The officers had facilitated some basic infrastructure to some extent for Chenchus development But still there is need of establishing sound infrastructure, like electrifying their irrigation wells, credit facility support prices for their produce and training on diversified farming practices and to make their development process in accordance with their culture but not with the policy of integrate them with the Main Stream. The ultimate need of the Chenchus is Capacity Building inconsonance with their culture, which is imperative to the concerned, to respond the challenges, to address, and to empower the Chenchus before their existence is completely vanished. Chenchus need more outreach programs on their rights, resources and capacity building.

In recent years Chenchus are migrating to the towns in search of labor for their survival. In this process they are falling prey to HIV/ AIDS, which is a great threat to their existence of their vanishing communities.