CoronaResponse > Nomadic/ Denotified Tribes

Nomadic/ Denotified Tribes

About Nomadic/ Denotified Tribes

TANDA is a project that reaches out to the nomadic and denotified tribes (NT-DNT) in Maharashtra. These groups face stigma, discrimination and are by and large poor and marginalised. It has been working with NT-DNT communities residing in slums of Navi Mumbai region such as Turbhe and Digha-Airoli of Trans-Harbour line namely Sathe Nagar, Digha, Patani-Airoli, Mahaveer Quarries, Ganapati Pada and Indira Nagar. The work of TANDA regarding education, health, local governance and vocational training is concentrated with Wadar, Banjara and Dhanagar and SC communities. 

Though Corona virus does not differentiate between caste, class, gender, religion, or national borders, the lockdown announced to prevent the spread of the virus has impacted the poor and marginalised, especially those from informal sector. Most of the people living in slums in Mumbai MMR, for example, work in the informal sector and are migrants to the city. Majority of them are daily wage earners who used to earn about Rs. 300-500/- per day before the lockdown was announced on 23rd

March 2020. For urban poor, meeting daily needs is difficult considering their family size and comparatively low wages. Most families do not have any financial back up in terms of savings and investments. Majority are from SC, ST, OBC and Muslim communities. There are also slums in cities which are inhabited by nomadic and de-notified tribes. 

A summary of TANDA’s efforts is provided here. For more details, please refer to this note.

Covid-19 Interventions

TANDA has raised resources from Art of Living Foundation, Rotary Club of Chembur, Mumbai  and other sources to provide food packets consisting of 5 kg wheat flour, 5  kg rice, 1 kg toor dal, 1 kg sugar, 1 kg salt, 1 litre cooking oil, and 25 gm each of red chilly and turmeric powder, for a family of five. The communities that TANDA is working with are extremely needy and vulnerable; they are mostly migrant families, with inadequate shelter, and no proper access to water or electricity.

Till today, TANDA could provide such food grain packets to 1000 slum dwellers predominantly from DNT, SC, ST (Brick Kiln labours) and minority groups. However, there are hundreds of families which are in great need.

The list of locations where TANDA was able provide food grain packets is given below:

Location No. of Families
Mahaveer Quarry
Indira Nagar
Vashi Naka
Digha, Airoli
Ganapati Pada
Turbhe Store




We have had a difficult experience in distribution of food packets at all locations due to the acute need of people. It has been difficult to maintain social distancing norms and to keep order while distributing the packets. Hence, we had kept a criteria to distribute packets to those who were direct beneficiaries of TANDA earlier. Besides we prioritised widowed women, families with disabled family members and those who do not have local ration card or are without ration cards.  

The Government of Maharashtra has been making many provisions to control the spread of Corona virus. However, the needs of the most vulnerable remain inadequately addressed till date. People are not able to get rations from the rationing shop due to inadequate stock. At many places, where wheat or rice is available, less quantity of grains is being offered. Moreover, the government has ordered that people have to purchase rations first, only then those would be eligible to avail of the free ration would be provided. People have no money to purchase rations of Rs. 50-60/- per family. They are also not able to purchase medicines, vegetables or milk.

Plans and Need for Resources

We have identified another 500 families which need to be supported with dry food grain kits as soon as possible. People are also in need of facial masks, sanitisers, soap and some cash in hand to purchase vegetables, milk and medicines. To fulfil these requirement TANDA is also seeking financial support from donor organisations as well as individual donors. TANDA is planning to undertake activities to spread awareness pertaining to COVD-19, Public Distribution System (PDS-Rationing) entitlements, special care of children, pregnant women, lactating mothers, person with disabilities, elderly people. Students entering into 10th standard are in need of educational support, hence, TANDA is planning to engage with such students with marginalised background and provide them educational support by means of online educational materiel and home work with the help of trained TANDA teachers. In this regard TANDA is seeking online educational material especially for SSC (10th standard-Maharashtra State Board-Marathi and Hindi Medium) students. Similarly, TANDA is trying to connect people with doctors and health specialist who are available on telephone in order to fulfil health needs when many private practitioners have kept their clinics closed.




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