Impact of Covid -19 on the Life and Livelihood of Indigenous Community in State of Kerala, India

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been most severe on the lives and livelihoods of the indigenous communities across the globe, including India. The adverse effect of the pandemic on tribal communities has been manifold. The tribal communities, due to their secluded lifestyle, have deficient immunity and are easily vulnerable to contagious diseases with the increased number of infections and increased mortality. The paper aims to study the adverse effect of the pandemic on the tribal community in India in general and specifically in Kerala, a state in India, during the first lockdown period from 25th March 2020 to 31st May 2020. The paper is a descriptive study where the first part of the paper highlights the plight of tribal communities. The second part focuses on the tribal belts of India. The concluding part focuses on how Covid-19 has affected the indigenous communities in Kerala. The study is based on the Report of the International Labor Organization(ILO) titled – “ Implementing the ILO Indigenousness and Tribal People Convention Number 169 Towards an Inclusive, Sustainable and Just Future “, 2019 and the data from the government of Kerala Dashboard. The main result of the study where that an important sector of the economy was severely hit; the Agriculture sector suffered a loss of Rs 1570.5 cr; the significant industries in Kerala include Refined Petroleum Products, Chemicals, and Pharmaceuticals, contributing 37.3% of the total value. As far as employment is concerned, the most significant industry in the manufacture of food and beverages accounts for one lakh factory workers or 32.8% of the industrial workers in the state. The tourism sector was first devastated by the Nipah outbreak and then, by the floods in 2009, was struck by the Covid-19 and lockdown. Around 80% of the sector comprises small and medium scale enterprises, and it employs about 15 lakh people, including the tribal population. They are assuming the annual income to be Rs. 45,000 Crore, the loss of income during the lockdown period is estimated to be around Rs. 20,000 Crore

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