The National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) is expected to submit an interim report to the Government of India by the end of May.
According to to Bhiku Ramji Idate, Chairman of the Commission, this intermediate report could possibly include a state-wise list of all the castes that will come under the banner of of Denotified Tribes (DNT) and Nomadic Tribes (NT).
The Nomadic Tribes and Denotified Tribes consists of about 60 million people in India, out of which about five million live in the state of Maharashtra. There are 315 Nomadic Tribes and 198 Denotified Tribes.
A large section of these tribes are known as vimukta jatis or ‘ex-criminal castes’ because they were classified as such under the Criminal Tribes Act 1871, enacted under British rule in India.
The report is necessitated as many of these tribes have been labelled under the SC/ST/MBC list. This in turn is depriving them of the socio-economic benefits of the government due to being incorrectly classified. The list of the tribes has been prepared by the Renke commission, formed to study the problems faced by DNT and NT communities.
“The communities earlier included in the Criminal Tribes Act of the British Raj were later classified as DNT. However, TN government reclassified many of them as DNCs in the seventies, which resulted in denial of several welfare measures,” Idate said recently while speaking about the such tribes in Tamil Nadu.