The Adivasis have preserved 90% of the country’s bio-cultural diversity protecting the polyvalent, precolonial, biodiversity friendly Indian identity from bio-cultural pathogens
Over 10 million Adivasis have been displaced to make way for development projects such as dams, mining, industries, roads, protected areas etc
Though most of the dams (over 3000) are located in Adivasi areas, only 19.9% (1980-81) of Adivasi land holdings are irrigated as compared to 45.9% of all holdings of the general population
India produces as many as 52 principal, 3 fuel, 11 metallic, 38 non-metallic and a number of minor minerals. Of these 45 major minerals (coal, iron ore, magnetite, manganese, bauxite, graphite, limestone, dolomite, uranium etc) are found in Adivasi areas contributing some 56% of the national total mineral earnings in terms of value. Of the 4,175 working mines reported by the Indian Bureau of Mines in 1991-92, approximately 3500 could be assumed to be in Adivasi areas.
Income to the government from forests rose from Rs.5.6 million in 1869-70 to more than Rs.13 billions in the 1970s. The bulk of the nation’s productive wealth lay in the Adivasi territories. Yet the Adivasi have been displaced and marginalised, losing dignity by the process of ‘national development’