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Accepted Paper:

Chenchu's Struggle for Survival in Nallamala Forests of Eastern Ghats, South India  


Swarupa Rani Challapalli (Acharya Nagarjuna University)

Paper Short Abstract:

The paper aims to discuss how various development projects like toursim and mining, and encroachments and interferences of non-tribals into habitats of Chenchus causing threats to thier culture, sustainable livilyhoods and natural environments, and struggles for survival for the past two decades.

Paper long abstract:

The Chenchus are indigenous people and inhabitants of Nallamala forests located in Eastern Ghats of South India. Nallamala forests surrounded by high mountains and deep valleys, and is a home to the Chenchus - a Primitive Tribal Group (PTG) / Particulalry Volunrable Tibal Group (PVTG), and thier habitat spreded in districts of Mahaboobnagar and Nalogonda in Telangana Sate, and districts of Prakasam, Guntur, Kurnool and Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh State. It is belived that the Chencus belong to a Dravidian family with the physical features of medium stature, dark skin, curly hair, flat nose, etc. They speak Telugu with their own typical accent. The Chenchu's economy is charectorised by the primitive means of production. Traditionally they practice sifting cultivation, collect minior forest produces, and depend on hunting and gathering for their living.

They maiinly subsist on thier day-to-day needs, and never think of future, They have thier own animistic beliefs and other magico-religious practices, and also worship the Shiva - the Hindu deity. Usually they prefer to lead a life in isolation and aloofness, and do not prefer to interact with the outside world.

Howevr, encroahments and frequent interferences of non-tribals into habitats of the Chenchus in the name of 'development' causing destruction to their mere survival as an individual, community and society in the nature. Tourism and mining projects are also causing major threats to livilyhoods. Present paper is an attempt to discuss the Chenchu's struggle for their survival for the past two decades in the Nallamala forests. .

Panel B12
Forests and the Indigenous Communities Worldwide through Ages: A Struggle for Survival