Good Neighbors India, has a carefully thought strategy of focusing on the following people groups. They are basically groups who are vulnerable, either on the fringes of development or often neglected or overlooked by the development plans of the government

Tribes (near National Parks):

Ethnic tribeslike the ‘Soligas’, ‘BettaKuruba’, ‘MulluKuruba’, ‘JenuKuruba’ and ‘Irulas’ in forest settlements called “Hadis”. Traditionally hunters, food and honey-gatherers, they do cattle grazing, collecting forest produces like tamarind, gooseberry, gallnuts, and sell them for their survival.

In Kannada, the term ‘Kuruba’ generally mean ‘shepherd’, which is derived from the Kannada word ‘kuri’ which means ‘sheep’. The term Kuruba is also associated with non-shepherd communities.

  • The term ‘Jenu’ means ‘honey’ – JenuKurubas’ are honey collecting tribes.
  • Soliga tribes–Are aboriginal forest tribes who generally live in isolation and won’t mingle with other groups.They are traditionally well versed in agriculture and practiced shifting cultivation till recently. They now increasingly rely on selling of ‘NFT Produce’ for their livelihood.
  • BettaKurubas’ – are tribes who traditionally lived in the mountains and practice hunting
  • BettaKurubas’ – are tribes who traditionally lived in the mountains and practice hunting
  • Irulas – located at the foothills of Nilgiris, they make their living by making/collecting honey, fruits, herbs and roots and selling to people in the plains.

With the setting up on National Parks at Bandipur, Mudumalai, Waynad, Nagerhole, tribal habitations are uprooted with restrictions on their livelihood activities. Rehabilitated on the peripheries of such forest areas with training in non-traditional livelihoods, many end up as unskilled laborers in the forest projects and nearby farmlands.

GNI’s focuses on working with such tribal communities near Bandipur and Mudumalai forest areas, in helping them make their transition to development and improved lives and livelihood, better.

Nomadic Tribes

Karnataka has the 2nd highest population of the nomadic tribes called ‘Lambanis’ or ‘Lamanis’. Although traditionally concentrated in the northern part of the state, many have since relocated to the southern districts like Tumkur, Chitradurga, etc.

Shunned and ostracized, Lambanis in the state continue to remain outside the mainstream of society. In cities and towns, it is common to find them performing acrobatics on the streets while the menfolk have transformed into construction labourers, mostly living on daily wages.

The stigma of being a Lambani is still so strong that even the educated ones from the tribe refuse to reveal their original identity.
GNI works with nomadic communities in Raychotay

Migrant Construction workers

Climate change induced disturbances in rainfall occurrence or monsoon failure leading to successive droughts, severely impact the predominantly rainfed agriculture regions. The vulnerable resource poor farmers with small and marginal land holdings and the landless, are often under distress due to crop failures, and are constrained to migrate to urban areas in search of livelihood. The construction boom in urban areas like Bangalore, provides opportunities for such migrant rural people to work as unskilled or semi-skilled construction labor. However, most end up staying in slums with squalid conditions or near construction sites. Young children are left to fend for themselves and vulnerable to abuse and without access to education.

GNI works with migrant construction workers communities living in and around Bangalore city.

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