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    International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples: Significance and more

    International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples: Significance and more

    International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples: Significance and more
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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    According to a UNESCO estimate, the indigenous population is around 500 million and it occupies 28 percent of the global land area. This population speaks as many as 7,000 languages, represents 5,000 different cultures, and usually lives in biodiversity-rich forests across the world.

    Celebrated on August 9 every year, the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples spreads awareness about the indigenous population around the world. The day was established by the United Nations on December 23, 1994, to protect the rights of the indigenous population. The UN had also declared 1995-2004 as the International Decade of World’s Indigenous People.
    According to a UNESCO estimate, the indigenous population is around 500 million and it occupies 28 percent of the global land area. This population speaks as many as 7,000 languages and represents 5,000 different cultures. They usually inhabit biodiversity-rich forests across the world and protect the environment around them. Therefore, the International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples also recognises their contributions to protecting the environment.
    The indigenous population in India is categorised as the Scheduled Tribes. This community is given reservations in recruitment and admissions and special forest rights. However, many of them continue to deal with marginalisation, extreme poverty, and lack of access to healthcare and education. Among the most numerically superior SC tribes in India are -- Gonds in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Bhils in Rajasthan, Santhals in Eastern India, and the Andamanese from the Andaman & Nicobar Islands among others.
    In the last decade, indigenous women and men have come forward to represent their communities and raise their issues. This change has come in the wake of climate change impacting them adversely. Several coastal communities have lost their habitat due to the rise in sea level while several forest dwellers have become more vulnerable as a result of increased deforestation.
    However, there is an increased focus on last-mile development among governments around the world today and effective steps are being taken to ensure food security for indigenous communities. Recently, the Indian government made special efforts to vaccinate the indigenous population against COVID-19. Several medical teams were sent to the most remote corners of the country to inoculate the tribals.
    On this day, you can reach out to NGOs working for indigenous communities and help them in whatever way possible. You can also read about these communities and spread awareness about their issues.
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