Article in HTML

Author(s): Archana Sethi


Address: SoS. in Economics, Pt. Ravishankar University, Raipur

Published In:   Volume - 23,      Issue - 1,     Year - 2017

Cite this article:
Archana Sethi, "Poverty and Indebtedness Among Birhore Tribes in Chhattisgarh", Journal of Ravishankar University (Part-A: SOCIAL-SCIENCE), 23(1), pp. 15-21.


Poverty  and Indebtedness Among Birhore Tribes in Chhattisgarh

Dr.(Mrs.) Archana Sethi

Assistant professor,

SoS. in Economics, Pt. Ravishankar University, Raipur

Abstract: Birhore is one of the special backward caste declared by the Government .  Mainly BIrhore tribe were lived in Bilaspur regionof undivided Madhya Pradesh. Majority of  these people were found in Raigadh and Jaspur  district of Chhattisgarh. After 67 years of independence ,India has progressed in the field of economy ,culture as well as socially under the umbrella of globlisation.When we look at the scheduled tribes of India ,we find that they are far away from these developments .So,development of these people is a  must,for the socio-economic development of the Country. This is a very difficult task but not an impossibleone, These activities required hardwork hard,patience and desireness It is clear from the income and expenditure analysis of the Birhore people that 100%people are living below the poverty line .Major portion of their income is used for food. With the help of this study I will try to find what is the position of Indebtedness and poverty of Birhore tribes and what they actually need for consumption and their development. people. If some people get benefits fromdevelopment programme and majority people not get benefits ,then these programme is failed to satisfy the welfare.


Key words: poverty,Indebteness, consumption, backward ,desireness


Birhore is one of the special backward caste declared by the Government.  Birhore is derived from two words of mundari language that is ‘Bir’ and ‘Hore’. Bir means forest and hore means individual of forest. At present the developed sector of Birhore tribe is found in centralized of western part of the Jharkhand State and East part of the Chhattisgarh State which is also called  as ChhotaNagpur ,West Bengal.Most of these people live in santhal pargana of Chhota Nagpur. Ranchi,Hajaribag,Gumla etc.sector. These people are living in Raigarh, Sarguja,.and Durg district of Chhattisgarh State. The Birhore tribes are famous in India for their traditional occupation. Now in occupational age the cottage industries includes those goods which are prepared by the Birhores. This leads to increase in poverty.Now continuous decrease in availability of forest goods and administrative policy  is possible for rhe increase in poverty of Birhore people.The goods which are prepared by Birhores do not face competition in the market.1


Demographic Speciality:

 Uthlu” are the first class people of Birhore society who acts to collect foodgrain. Since 1956, the Indian Government is Continuesly working to develop the lifestyle of Birhore tribes. Mostly Birhore tribe was developed in various district of Chhote Nagpur and santhal pargana of Jharkhand state where the Birhore population was 5117 in the year in 1993. Most of these tribes lives in Bilaspur of undivided madhya Pradesh. Majority of these people were found out from Raigadh and Jaspur district. According to 1961 census of inseparate Madhya Pradesh the total Birhore population was 513,which includes 56 population from sargujja,440 from raigadh,13 from chhindwada,3 from balaghat , where as according to1971 census the total Birhore population was 561 which includes 266 number of man and 295 number of woman.The information and knowledge about Birhore population is available from survey and research by Jaspur hill area developmentpotential.4


Significance of the study:

 After 67 years of independence ,India has progressed in the field of economy ,culture as well as socially under the umbrella of globlisation.When we look at the scheduled tribes of India ,we find that they are far away from these developments .So,development of these people is a must,for the socio-economic development of the country.With the help of this study the researcher will try to find  out what is the position of Indebtedness and poverty among of Birhore tribes and what they actually required for consumption and  development.6

 Review of literature

Dalton(1864)1-The idea regarding Birhore tribe was found out the first time in the writing of Dalton which was published in 1864.He wrotes in this book that after very difficulties some of the Birhore people  were present near him who were very poor and low caste people in Hindu society .After consolation by me the Birhore people  accept that  their fore fathers were eaten death body. They were also told that they were not done these activities. According to Dalton ‘This behavior may be a little part of their tradition, which aims at the soul will be reborn on their family and the soul will be not disturb the family. Fobar’s Report(1872)2-Birhore munda tribe is the born of Nasla. Their language is the combination of ‘mundari’and ‘santhali’ language. Birhore is the most ancient tribe of the small Nagpur. The Birhore people are not harmful for anybody. Generally most of these people established in up of the hill. They are not doing any type of cultivation. The occupational factor of these people are to catch fish, monkey, Rabbit, birds and to collect forest goods etc. They pet monkey and sell them. With this income they attain their livelihood.   

Hindu society .After consolation by me the Birhore people  accept that  their fore fathers were eaten death body. They were also told that they were not done these activities. According to Dalton ‘This behavior may be a little part of their tradition, which aims at the soul will


Diagram-1 Birhore population



shows like a very lower level with a small shoulder, lack sceen, both man and women have long hair. Rasal and Hiralal(1916)3-Accoding to him about Birhore tribe ‘These people are the small group of the Kolereyen caste where approximately 150 individual of small Nagpur were established in the year 1911.Mahadevan(1962)Including the present one observed no considerable seasonal variations  in the diet of the tribal. Rai Bahadur Sharad Chandra Ray(1925)5 He wrotes that the people  whose behavior, tradition, culture ,belief is described in the book ‘The Birhore  a little known jungle tribe of Chhota Nagpur (1925).By nature they  are angry people. There is less availability of knowledge about them Before so many years where the British Government was interested to know about the Birhore people, at that time their neighbour were called him ‘Narvakshi’ because the Birhore people were eaten the death body of their mother and father. At present these people are not eating death body. But they are famous because of their magical power. Pingle,(1972)6reported that food consumption of kolas and maria gond of central Province depends largely upon their socio- economic condition.Rao k Mohan (1999)7_According to him ,any development process in India should begin with the schemes/ programmes meant for scheduled tribes and scheduled castes,as there are the most disadvantaged and neglected people in the society.  Mishra&Chakravarty(2002)8 -exmained that the Bhil women do not consume any special diet during pregnancy. On the contrary, most of the foods are banned to eat either being hot or cold  or strongly odoured or consume space in abdomen. They prefer to eat gur,coconut,and deshi ghee after delivery and consume lots of buttermilk if available to enhance flow of breast milk.


Objectives of the study:                                              

The objectives of the study are as follows:

1.      To study the demographic features of Birhore tribe.

2.      To study the socio -economic position of Birhore tribe.

3.      To study about the administrative practices of Birhore tribe.


Research Methodology:

This study is based on the secondary data.

The secondary data is collected from Jaspur hill area development potential, Jaspur 2008.

The collected data were  analysed with the help of statistical methods like percentage average, etc. The findings of the study are given us.


                                                    Table-1 Birhore Population                                                               



No.of Blocks


No.of families

Birhore population

























Source:  Jaspur hill area development potential ,Jaspur2011.


 It is clear from the above table -1 that there is a day to day increase in the  population size, number of families, number of villages of Birhore tribes. According to survey report of 1988-89,171 families were lived in 16 village from 5 block.At present 281number of family are living in32 village of a block from jaspur district. The total of it constitutes to be 1143.

The exact number of Birhore tribes in the Country is very difficult to know.because of their migratory nature


Sex composition

At present in a block of Raigarh and Jaspur districts the Birhore tribes were established where 306 family are living in 31 villages. The number of total male population is 569 and total female population is 562.



                                        Table 2 Education in Birhore population  


Level of education
















High school




Higher secondary



                            Source: Aadim jati anusandhan &Traning centre (c.g.2010-11)


At present  the literacy rate of Birhore tribe is 24.37% .According to available government data most of the people were received primary level of education.5 number of people are received high school level of education and 5 number of people are received higher secondary education which is 0.22% of total population .None of the Birhore inhabitants received higher education.                                                     


                                                                    Table-3 Source of Income   


Source of Income       


% of Total Income










Forest collection




Bamboo &Rope work


















 Source:  Jaspur hill area development potential, Jaspur district 2010-11


Economic position:

The contribution to income in a by the members shows actual Economic position of that family. If there is more share from primary sector,then the group is called as underdeveloped and developing country.It is clear from the share of income of Birhore tribe there is a positive effect of launching administrative planning from in one and a century.In the past period the owhich includes rope making,collection of forest Products etc.But at present they apply new occupation techniques such as cultivation,government services Etc.

 According to the available data the average income of Birhore family is Rs.7729 per year.38.54% of total income is the contribution from equal from wages.  The contribution from agriculture is 29.81%. The contribution from making rope is 17.29 from collection from collection of forest products is 7.46%and from other sources is 7.46.The occupational distribution of sources of income is given in table 3.

     It is clear from the above that the major part of the contribution of income of Birhore tribe is received from wages and the next is from agriculture. Majority of the people accept agriculture and labour as an occupation. The third important contribution in total income is from the traditional occupations like rope making, collection of forest products etc.Which is also the main source of income in recent times.


Labour Activity:

In any low caste of economy the contribution from wage among Birhore people is more important because major portion of income available from wages. Farmers and landless people utilize more time on labour activities. These activities are done by man,woman and All agricultural activities are done like cultivation ,yielding etc.Other activities includes working in homes&shops, construction of roads,ponds lakes,dams etc. In free time Birhores collect forest products and these collections were they consumed the necessary Products which are useful for their lives and the remaining products they sell in the market and Earn money from it.


From ancient time Birhores were lived near the forest and hill area where they collect forest products like tendu,char,mahua ,harra ,bahera etc.Except these they also use and collects fruits

                                                       Table-4: Annual Production Cycle of Birhore


Production work/area


Time period(month)










collect forest goods

Other time



Rope making

Depends on availability of goods


                         Source:  Jaspur hill area development potential ,Jaspur district 2010-11.  

Expenditure  Pattern:

It is necessary to calculate consumption expenditure to know the living standard of any community. We should calculate the living standard of any family group and country .According to Engel if the income of the family is increaseS the ratio of consumption on food decreases, the expenditure on clothing and shelter is constant where as the ratio of expenditure on education, health ,entertainment etc.increases. The following table represents the percentage of expenditure.


                                                      Table-5 Family expenditure structure                    


Expenditure goods

Average per capita expenditure(%)








Festival/social work














                                  Source:  Jaspur hill area development potential Jaspur district 2010-11                                 

                                     Diagram-3 Expenditure Pattern


It is clear from the above table that major portion of income is used on consumption of food .Which is 61.5% of total expenditure. In an underdeveloped economy the major  portion of income is invested on expenditure of food and less income is invested on expenditure of other wants. The expenditure on ornaments and clothes  is 13.0% of total expenditure .The Birhores use less expenditure on clothes.



The Birhore people gives more importance festivals. In the arranagement of festivals the family members and relatives takes direct participation .They specially use food,drink,dance music,tobacco,smoking etc. in festivals. From the above table it is noticed that 9.5% income is used on festivals of the total expenditure.



In all the festivals and activities  from birth to death of children the Birhore  tribes use compulsorily intake  of wine. Generally they use that wine which is made from  rice and   mahua. Birhores  do not use that wine which is purchased from shops. They prepare wine in home hence it is difficult to calculate accurate expenditure on wine. According to available government data the total expenditure on wine is10%.Not only man & woman are  consuming wine but it is also consumed by children.


                                                     Diagram-4 Lorenz Curve



In the construction of  houses   the Birhores uses permanent goods and the house building is done by family members,hence they are free from wage expenditure .But they are spending on metal goods .Except these the Birhores consume agricultural goods for household purposes.Because these goods are easily available in the local market.The Birhores uses barter system of exchange. Therefore there is impossibility of actual calculation of money expenditure only 5% of expenditure is used on money.


The Birhore tribes do not give much attention to health .When the people became  sick they like to practice megical powers. Because of lack of medical facilities and awareness they ignore hospital facilities. The expenditure on health is only 2% of total expenditure.


Living standard :

It is clear from the income and expenditure analysis of the Birhore tribes that 100%people are living below the poverty line .Major portion of their income is spend on food. If there is very urgent then the  Birhores used their income on expenditure of clothes, household goods and health. There is also  social compulsion arises in expenditure on festivals in case of Birhore tribes .They use and consume quantitatively and qualitatively the low level of goods.

        There is also lack of calorie in their food. According to available data the calorie intake of Birhores  is 1518 per person per day. Hence it is said that at present they are living in very lower standard.

Consumption Level:

It is clear from the above that the consumption..

level of Birhore tribes is very low and they consume less calories goods

Administrative Practice by the state government:

After independence various developmental activities are launched by the government for the development of schedule tribes in Madhya Pradesh &Chhattisgarh state .There is establishment of Birhore development organization for the development of the Birhore tribes by the govt. The headquarters of this organization at present .In Jaspur city.For the rapid development of these people this organization established 3 types of development activities

1.Familier activity:

The objective of this scheme is to promote economic development of Birhore family.It includes Indira Avas Yojna, agricultural land distribution activity etc.

2.Community development scheme: It includes the development activities on education ,health ,economic development .It also encourages employment for Birhore tribes.

 3.Basic framework development activity:

It includes consumption of roads,buildings,ponds,lakes,dams,well etc.

Educational Programme:

From the 21 century government gives more importance to practice of education for Birhore tribe. Educational programme includes 20 school of various village of Jaspur and Raigarh districts which includes primary school,middle school and high school. Majority of schools have hostel facilities. These school are launched either in Birhore village or near by villages.  According to survey report of 2005-06 there are 56.13 % student received education in the age group of 06 to 14years which includes 65.37% boys and 46.52% girls.


      Various administrative programmes are launched for the development of Birhore tribes of Chhattigarh State. The administrative programme are more familiarity,communicative and framwork of Birhore tribes. But It shows that the planners were  not ignore the self interest and  for this reason from 90 century these developmental programme do not hold good.       

           The objective of beginning of the special sectoral development programme is to provide help for the permanent settlement of the Birhore tribes .But these people  do not imagine and shows closeness to society. They should be given priority on providing necessary facilities to encourage them to  participate in the developmental programme .But this is possible when they  attracts on modern  life style .Hence it is necessary to change social,economical and educational view point of these people .This is a very difficult task.but not an impossible one, These activities required hard work, patience and desirenen.

 At development work do not hold good for Birhore tribes..If some people gets benefits from development  programme and majority people not gets benefits then these programme is fail to satisfy their welfare.



  1. Aadim jati anusandhan &Traning centre, C.G.2009-10.
  2. Dalton(1864) Planning for Tribal development”V- 2(1),p.25.
  3. Fobar’s Report(1872):Aug.V-3(4),p.36.
  4. Jaspur hill area development potential, Jaspur district 2008.
  5. Mahadevan,I,(1962) “Social factors in some nutritional deficiency diseases” The indianJurnal of Social   work ,Vol.23,(1):p41.
  6. Malhotra,S.P.(1960)“Birhore Resettlement  schemes ”Journal of Social  Research,3(2)sep.1960,p.n.69-81.
  7. Mishra,C.P..,Singh,N.&Chakravarty,A.(2002): “Dietary pattern of a tribal community of Naugarh block”Tribal Health Bulletin,vol.-8,p.6-11
  8. Pingle U.(1972) “some studies in two tribel groups of central India”Plants foods for man,vol. -1,p-185-186
  9. Rai Bahadur Sharad Chandra Ray(1925) “The Birhores a little:known jungle tribe of Chhotanagpur,Ranchi”,Man in India,1955p.n.608..
  10. Rao k Mohan (1999) “Tribal development in Andhra Pradesh:Problems,Performance and Prospects. ” Economic and Political weekly ,Booklinks Corporation,Hyderabad.
  11. Rasal and Hiralal(1916)"Tribal development in India”V-2,(5)p.31.


Related Images:

Recomonded Articles:

Author(s): Upendra Kumar Sahu; Pankaj Kumar; Dr. Raksha Singh

DOI: 10.52228/JRUA.2021-27-1-10         Access: Open Access Read More

Author(s): A. K. Pandey; Radha Pandey; Manisha Pandey

DOI:         Access: Open Access Read More

Author(s): S Chougule

DOI:         Access: Open Access Read More

Author(s): L. S. Gajpal

DOI:         Access: Open Access Read More

Author(s): Gurunath Nadgonde

DOI:         Access: Open Access Read More

Author(s): Mohammed Imtiaz Ahmed; Mohammed Bakhtawar Ahmed; Manjusha Dolly Asher

DOI:         Access: Open Access Read More

Author(s): P.C. Agarwal; Z.T. Khan

DOI:         Access: Open Access Read More

Popular Articles