Context in Current Affairs: The Uttar Pradesh government has recently launched a scheme to take the unique culture of the Tharu tribes all over the world. The intention of the scheme is to put these tribal villages on tourism map. This will create jobs and bring economic Independence to the tribal population in the region.
What is the plan?
The State Government of Uttar Pradesh is planning to connect the villages of the Tharu tribals located in the International border of Nepal. It is a Homestay scheme under which the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department will offer tourists an experience of living in the natural habitat of Tharu tribals. These huts are made of grass collected from the forest.
Uttar Pradesh Forest Department will train the Tharu tribals to communicate with the tourist. They will also encourage the tribals to acquaint with aspects of cleanliness and safety.
The Tharu tribals shall also charge the tourists for their home cooked meals and accommodation. The participation of both domestic and international tourists are expected under the scheme. Several tourists are interested to obtain the taste of tribal culture by staying with them, observing their food habits, lifestyle and attire.
About the Tharu tribals
They belong to the lowlands located in the Shivalik or the lower Himalayas. Most of these people are forest dwellers practicing agriculture. The word Tharu means Followers of Theravada Buddhism.
The Tharu tribals are distributed both in Nepal and India. In India they are mostly distributed in Bihar, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. According to the 2011 census, the total Scheduled tribe Population of Uttar Pradesh was 11 lakhs. This is expected to have increased to 20 lakhs now. The Tharus tribes how major contribution to the increase in tribal population in the state.
The Tharu tribals speak Tharu language. It is a language of the Indo Aryan subgroup and the variant of Urdu, Hindi and Awadhi. The Tharu of Nepal speak a variant of Bhojpuri. Peace tribals worship Lord Shiva as Mahadev. Take all their Supreme being Narayan. According to them Narayan is the provider of rain, sunshine and harvest. The Tharu women have stronger property rights than those provided to the women in the mainstream North Indian Hindu customs.
They consume beef and alcoholic beverages. A standard Tharu plate consists of Dhirki or Bagiya, which is a steamed dish of rice flour. It is eaten with Ghonghi, an edible snail.