Yavatmal District has significant population of Tribal Paradhi community spread over 53 hamlets locally known as ‘Bedas’. Paradhi Bedas are located in Ralegaon, Ghatanji, Darva, Yavatmal, Kalamb, Ner and Bhabulgaon etc. blocks. Deendayal Seva Pratishthan (DSP) has been working in the district since year 1997, for upliftment of Paradhi tribe which is economically and socially most backward. The community is branded as a criminal community and has been a persecuted one. Hunting of wild animals was the major livelihood activity of the community. Stricter forest laws and their high handed implementation deprived the community of its livelihood. In the absence of the livelihood, many of the community turned to petty crime.
Deendayal Seva Pratishthan (DSP) focused its attention to them and started visiting the Bedas. These hamlets are at a distance from other village. Paradhis do not socially mix with other communities as they do not trust them. Paradhis have their own traditions and beliefs a few of which do not match with main stream society. Bringing them to mainstream society required change in their outlook of the society as also change in outlook of mainstream society towards Paradhis. DBPM thought that this could be done through modern education.
To build trust for other communities, DBPM volunteers frequently visited the Paradhi habitations, participated in their cultural activities and helped them in difficulties faced by them with Govt. agencies, etc. DBPM concluded that in the process of their upliftment, the children education should be accorded top priority. While encouraging them for sending children to schools a need for hostel facility at a place having better schools was felt.
Activities for the Development of Tribal Paradhi Community: