Tharu Tribe UPSC

Tharu Tribe | UPSC


How COVID-19 made forest rights battle tougher for Tharu women

      WHY IN NEWS:

The Adivasi women of Lakhimpur Khiri in eastern UP show resilience



For PRELIMS it is important to understand the spread , location , occupation , society and a little background too !

For MAINS concentrate on writing a better answer on FRA ! .


The Adivasi villagers alleged the forest department prevented people from entering the forest during the lockdown.

Representative image. The Tharu Adivasi community in Eastern Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Khiri district near the India-Nepal border has been badly hit by the COVID-19 lockdown. Photo: Flickr



  • The Tharu community belongs to the Terai lowlands, amidst the Sivaliks or lower Himalayas.
  • They are located in southern Nepal and in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India.


  • This is a region of alluvial floodplains, marshy grasslands and dense forests with plenty of wildlife.


Most of them are forest dwellers and some practise agriculture .

  • Tharu families survive on wheat, corn and other vegetables grown close to their homes.
  • Some Tharu people were forced into bonded labour, while the majority lived off the forest.


They speak various dialects of Tharu, a language of the Indo-Aryan subgroup of the Indo-Iranian group of the Indo-European family, and they are largely Indian in culture.


  • The region was ruled by queens and kings in the 19th century.
  • In 1864, the Britishers controlled much of northern and central India, established the forest department.
  • The department reserved some forest land and considered itself the rightful owners of these lands.
  • In 1927, the British made forest laws that gave supreme power to the department and its bureaucracy.
  • This  creating a violent home ground for Tharu Adivasi community.

  The community was made to work in oppressive conditions on British plantations.


  • In 1978 : GOI drew out plans to create a protected area for tigers — the Dudhwa National Park.
  • BATTLING RIGHTS :  Tharu Adivasi forest villages in this area led the battle for their land and rights.
  • RELOCATION : The same year, at least 43 villages were relocated and granted revenue village status(officially recognised by the state and be eligible for government services.)


Tharu use their own traditional ritual specialists in addition to the Hindu Brahman priests; moreover, many consume alcoholic beverages and some eat beef.


Tharu worship Mahadev and possess some idea of a supreme being known as Narayan who provides sunshine, rain and harvests.


Despite their patrilineal social system, women have property rights greatly exceeding those recognized in Hindu society.

Each village is governed by a council and a headman.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The word थारू thāru is thought to be derived from sthavir meaning follower of Theravada Buddhism.

     SOURCES: PIB | Tharu Tribe | UPSC

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