Chenchu tribe is a very strange tribe of India. Which are found in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana and Karnataka. Among the South Indian tribes, Chenchus are one of the most progressive tribes in the country. They are a food gathering tribe that lives within the Nallamala forests of Andhra Pradesh. For many centuries, Chenchus have been living in harmony with wild & dangerous animals in the deep forest of Nallamala.
History of Chenchu Tribal
Every tribe has a history. Similarly, the Chenchu tribe has also been following a tradition for the last several decades. Which even today is mainly dependent on forests for its food. Where they do not do any kind of farming for their food, but depends entirely on hunting. A Chenchus villages are known as Penta. Each penta consists of a few huts that are grouped together based on family ties who live near relatives and those who live far away.
Customs of Chenchu Tribal
It is said that the Chenchu tribe of Andhra Pradesh is very clear and precise about their views. On the other hand, if it is a matter of heart, that this tribe can marry anyone as per their choice. There is no family pressure on them. This tribe is divided into different gotras (sects). Where they are strictly forbidden to marry in one gotra. On the other hand, if the marriage breaks down in some way, then they can get married again. The most important thing is that in the event of divorce, more importance is given to mutual consent, which is still rarely seen in the common society. Another point to note is that widow-marriage is not considered bad in this tribe.
Habits of Chenchu Tribal
Chenchu tribe are hunters who use bow and arrow and small knives to hunt wild animals like boar, deer, lizard, rabbit and wild birds. Their food is quite simple and usually consists of gruel made from sorghum or maize and boiled or cooked jungle tubers. The Chenchus collect forest roots, fruits, tubers, bidi leaves, mahua flowers, honey, gum and green leaves and sell it to traders and government cooperatives.
Effects of Uranium Mining on Chenchu Tribal
The rich biodiversity of Nallamala forests may be seriously threatened due to uranium mining.
The hills and valleys of Nallamala come under the catchment area of Krishna River. Uranium mining has adverse effects on the flow of the Krishna River, as well as the effects of leaching of uranium into the water, which can have serious impacts on marine and terrestrial biodiversity.
Rich medicinal flora is found in these forests and animals like tiger, leopard, bear and spotted deer reside here. Two blocks were identified for uranium mining in Amrabad Tiger Reserve but the mining work is being opposed by NGOs, environmentalists and local citizens. This type of mining would have adverse effects on plants and animals as well as agriculture, air and drinking water.
Ban on uranium mining in Nallamala forests
The Chenchu tribals reside in this area, their social, cultural and livelihood would have been adversely affected by mining activities. Telangana Assembly has passed a resolution to stop uranium mining in Nallamala forests.
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