Media Exposure Among the Gonds in Maharashtra

Pawar Nisha*


Media plays an important role in creating awareness about what is happening around us. We need to understand the reach of different media in the tribal community so that government policies can be implemented more effectively with the help of media which is easily available, useful and accepted by the tribal community. There are over 705 Scheduled Tribes notified under Article 342 of the Constitution of India, spread over different states and Union Territories of the country. The total number of tribal communities in Maharashtra is 47, comprising 10.1 per cent of population.The tribal communities have some distinct characteristics such as shyness of contact with the community at large, geographical isolation and backwardness. The present research paper is an attempt to know the media exposure among the Gond community in Kinwat Taluka of Nanded district. The researcher conducted survey of 50 respondents of Jawarala village by visiting the Jawarala Gram Panchayat and ITDP (Integrated Tribal Development Project) office of Kinwat  Taluka for primary data collection in order to conduct a study about  the media reach among Gond community.


In India, the tribal population is divided into three zones namely-North-Eastern, Central and Southern zones. The tribal population of the country resides in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and West Bengal. According to the 2011 census report, “The tribal population constitutes 10,42,81,034  persons’.[ p.1] Article 366 (25) of the Constitution of India refers to Scheduled Tribes as those communities, who are scheduled in accordance with Article 342 of the Constitution. This Article says that only those communities who have been declared as such by the President through an initial public notification or through a subsequent amending Act of Parliament will be considered to be Scheduled Tribes.

The government of India’s Scheduled Tribal list included 212 tribes in 1950 and it rose to 705 subsequently. There are over 705 Scheduled Tribes notified under Article 342 of the Constitution of India, spread over different States and Union Territories of the country. The highest percentage   of scheduled tribes are in the States of  Nagaland [86.5] it was followed by Arunachal Pradesh [68.8] Dadra Nagar Haveli [52.0] and Manipur[35] ‘.[ profile p.122] Some essential characteristics identifies as Scheduled Tribes are-indications of primitive traits ,distinctive culture, shyness of contact with the community at large ,geographical isolation and backwardness.

Tribal community in Maharashtra

According to the Tribal Development Department,”The total number of tribal communities in Maharashtra is 47, comprising 10.1 per cent of population.”[tribal maharashtra] There are 35 Districts in the State and the tribal population is largely concentrated in the western hilly Districts of Dhule, Nandurbar, Jalgaon, Nashik and Thane (Sahyadri Region) and the eastern forest Districts of Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Bhandara, Gondiya, Nagpur, Amravati and Yavatmal (Gondwana Region). “The main tribes in Maharashtra are the Bhils, the Gonds, the Mahadeo Kolis, the Pawras, the Thakurs and the Varlis. There are three tribes, viz the Kolams (Yavatmal District), the Katkaris (mainly in Thane and Raigad Districts) and the Madia Gonds (Gadchiroli District), which have been notified as Primitive Tribes by the government of India.Out of the STs, Bhil, Gond, Koli Mahadev, Varli, Kokna and Thakur together constitute 73.3 per cent of the ST population of the State. Bhils are numerically the largest ST with a population of 1,818,79 constituting 21.2 per cent of the state’s ST population. They are followed by Gond 1,554,894 (18.1 per cent), Koli Mahadev 1,227,562 (14.3 percent), Varli 627,197 (7.3 per cent), Kokna 572,195 (6.7 per cent) and Thakur 487,696 (5.7per cent). [] For the development of tribal community, the government of Maharashtra established the Tribal Development Commission in 1976 and a separate Tribal Development Ministry in 1984.In order to assess the impact of developmental programs and schemes on the life of the tribal people in the State, the Tribal Research and Training Institute was established in Pune. As per the website of the Tribal Development Commission, there are 4 ATC [Additional Commissioner, Tribal Development] at Nasik, Thane, Nagpur, and Amravati and 29 ITDP (Integrated Tribal Development Project) offices for effective implementation of various state and central govt. welfare schemes. These schemes include social welfare, economical welfare, education, social justice, women and child welfare, healthcare, food, employment etc. Total budget of this department is Rs.1000 core, which includes grants to other departments’ tribal development activities ‘.

About Nanded district

Tribe-wise population of Nanded district is as follows- [1] Andh – 67744 [2] Kolam- 51653[3] Gond- 3890 [4]. Bhil- 6532 [5].  Thakar – 1511. “Nanded district is divided into 16 Talukas under four revenue sub-divisions”. [] Tribal habitats are in the Kinwat Taluka of Nanded district. Kinwat came into existence in 1905 by combining villages from Narsapur and Nirmal Talukas in Adilabad district then under the Hyderabad division. Haimendrof Furer has published a book entitled ‘The Gonds of Andhra Pradesh’ in 1979, in which the author has discussed the social and culture life of Gond people. The book is the main source of understanding the Gond community in the region of Kinwat.

Objectives of the research paper

  1. To study the media exposure among the Gond community in Kinwat Taluka of Nanded district.
  2. To understand the media reach and to know which media is being used by them
  3. To understand the changing media need of the Gond community.

Research methodology

The researcher conducted survey of 50 respondents of Jawarala village. The survey research seeks to provide empirical data collected from a population of respondents through schedule. For the present paper the researcher prepared schedule, consisting of 31 questions based on usage of media among Gond people. Besides the researchers visited Gram Panchayat of Jawarala[ on 5.2.2015  and  ITDP (Integrated Tribal Development Project) office of Kinwat  on 1.2.2015 for primary data collection.

The Gonds and Jawarala village

The general name Gond is derived from the term ‘Gondi -speaking population. Gondi belongs to the Dravidian group of languages. Gondi has no script. It is a dialect and learned and transferred by oral tradition. With others they speak Telugu, Marathi or Hindi, depending on their surrounding language. .Nanded district is part of the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. It includes 16 Talukas. 120 tribal villages are situated in the Kinwat Taluka and 80-100 per cent of the tribal population is situated in 14 villages: Navergaon , Jawarla, Jarur, Dongargao [Shindkhed], Minaki, Pandhara, Bellori, Kherada, Bhimpur, Pinpalgao,Ghogarwada, Shivanidi, Dongargao and Budhawartpeth.

Jawarala village is in the Kinwat Taluka. Gond,Kolam, Budha, Kalal, Mali,Lohar and Rajput Pradhan are the main tribes  of  the village. According to the Gram Panchyat of Jawarala, “The total population of the Jawarala village is 1607 [Household-262] and out of this 400 are Gonds”. In 2011, the village had won five lac prizes for ‘Gam Savachata Abhiyan’.  Zilla Parishad primary school and two Aganwadi schools are provided by the ITDP Kinwat. Social amenities such as health center, temple, post office, co-operative society, Mahila and Yuva Mandal  ,Bhajani Mandal  are available in the village . The village has 62 tap connections, eight wells and four toilet blocks for water and sanitation. The Kinwat Taluka has 12 government Ashram Schools, six funded schools, one government hostel each for tribal boys and girls. Shivkanta Kumare is the Sarpanch of the village. She has obtained her post graduate degree in Sociology from SRTM University, Nanded. Her father retired as Assistant Project Officer from Tribal Block Development Center, Kinwat. Shikanta Kumare’s mother and sister are employed.

in the village, hostels for boys and girls in the Taluka and government policy, the Gond’s are well aware of the importance of education. Still, their main occupation remains agriculture. In today’s situation, animal husbandry and farm labour become their second occupation. The joint family is the special characteristic of the Gond community .When the son gets married he lives separately but close to parents’ house.

Table No. 1.2   Media Exposure Gond of Jawarala Village

Table 1.2 and 1.3 depict the data usage of media by the respondent. Out of 50 respondents, 19 are regular newspapers readers. Newspapers such as Daily Lokmat, Deshonatti and Punynagari are available at the Gram Panchyat office and grocery shops .These are the main centres for the villagers who want to read the newspapers. Gangaram Madavi is a retired teacher who is a regular newspaper reader in the village. As compared to newspapers, only nine respondents listen to the radio, 27 respondents view TV regularly. Two households have the DTH facility. Mobile users are more common as a compared to other media such as newspapers [19] radio [09] and Television [27]. Out of 50 respondents, 43 use the mobile handset of Macromax,   Samsung, Nokia and China made companies. Most of the people use the black and white mobile, but the young tend to use colour mobiles of the Samsung company. A mobile is shared by the mother, father, wife and dependent children. Messages, conversation and listening to music are the regular features of the usage of the mobile. The youth likes to download Gondi songs and listen through the mobile. The elders in the family dislike the usage of mobile for unnecessary conversation.  As per their opinion, excessive use of the mobile is a waste of time and money. The elderly males and females of the family do not know how to operate the mobile handset and are reluctant to learn it. To use the mobile they depend on their sons and grandchildren.


Jawarala village, situated in the Kinwat Taluka, is well connected by road. The village has concrete roads, drainage system, availability of sufficient water and sanitation facilities, primary and secondary schools, solar light, gobar gas scheme, agricultural land under cultivation and an efficient gram panchayat which are some of the main features in the village. The Gond people are aware of the need of education for both boys and girls. Though there are few media users, various media are available for the villagers. While examining the media exposure among the Gond people, it was found that compared to newspapers, radio and television, 86 per cent of the respondents use mobile phones. Mobiles have brought the world much closer. India is an emerging ‘mobile’ country. The country has the second largest mobile phone users in the world after China. According to TRAI, “the total mobile penetration in India is expected to increase 72 percent by the end of 2016.[] At the government level the mobile is being used as a tool to reach the citizens. The research findings are more useful to formulate government policies about effective use of mobile apps for the development of the tribal community in order to implement inclusive policies through ATC and ITDC.


  1. /scheduled/areas in,p1
  2. tribal -tribal profile and its distribution section -1 ,p.122
  3. http:// tribal
  6. Bhanu B.V. [2004] People of India, Maharashtra ,part -I,Popular Prakashana, Mumbai.
  7. Visit to Integrated Tribal Development Project, Kinwat. Dated on 1.2.2015
  8. Visit to Gram Panchayat office and interview with Sarpanch ,Jawarala village. Dated on 5.2.2015
  9. Survey of 50 Gond people conducted in Jawarala Village, Kinwat Taluka, District Nanded State of Maharashtra,India

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