Importance of social work practice in tribal areas

Tribals @pexels
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Importance of social work practice in tribal areas


Tribal community is one of the most underprivileged section of a society who needs some sort of support and sympathetic approach towards them in order to sustain sufficiently in this society. They represent the most primitive livelihood of the race and deserves the equal rights as that of the civilized people residing in skyscrapers.

Tribals, specifically the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes under Indian constitution are considered most backwards. The term ‘Dalit and Aadiwasi’ is also used interchangeably. Apart from India, all other countries have tribal communities which represent their social background. Social work practices to help these people are unanimously recognised as one of the noble services towards humanity.

The responsibility of social workers is helping individuals, families, and group of people to cope with problems they’re facing in their daily lives after patiently listening to their problems and understanding their difficulties. The main aim of a social worker is educating and empowering the weaker group of the society to help them emerge powerful and stand strong in their own feet independently.

Traditionally, social work emphasizes on the following basic processes as their work procedure:

• Case work,

• Group work ; and

• Community organisation.

The missions and goals of social workers are as follows:

GOAL 1: Generalist Preparation.

GOAL 2: Diversity among them.

GOAL 3: Ethical decision-making for their benefits.

GOAL 4: Social Justice to the needy.

GOAL 5: Professional Development for their betterment.

GOAL 6: Service to the tribal.

Tribal Life

Need of social work practices in the tribal areas are:

1) Urgency:

The main motive of a social worker is to lend a helping hand towards the less privileged section of the society, as per which, one of the main focus point is the tribal people. They need our help urgently to think in a broader aspect, for our country to prosper as a whole. The main necessary items required to sustain a life is food. It is the duty of a social worker to very urgently ensure that, such community of people are not starving. A balanced diet not only increases the life expectancy of the people, but also encourages them to earn their living.

2) Economic and medical support:

The tribals are deprived of the lavish economic prosperity that their nation does, since the passage of resource is halted somewhere or the other. Such is the work of a social worker who establishes this chain of communication via interacting with them and in a way helping them to flourish. Helping the poor by providing them with the basic necessities of life is the importance of social workers.

The lack of availability of proper healthcare facilities to the tribal and if not so, the acceptability of medical services to treat any ailments is not that much prevalent. A social worker should emphasize in encouraging them to opt for physicians help in case of any illness and not carry out the traditional superstitious customs. In this respect, a social worker must take additional steps to educate them to think in an unbiased manner in any situation.

3) Means of communication

The innumerable local languages spoken by the different tribal groups pose a major problem in reaching to them directly. The vast difference in communication between the upper castes and them very often stands high in their proper development. The local organisations who themselves feel attached to the tribal people is best to help the majority of them. This is because, the inhabitants will genuinely trust the local people than cooperating with a total stranger. Also, ensuring that they don’t feel fish out of water in their process of prospering.

4) Innumerable superstitions still prevalent.

Some of the cultural rituals and vague practices are still now quite prevalent among some tribal groups which not only harm themselves at the personal level but also back pulls them from progressing towards all round development. Several ill practices of hurting or exploiting other human or animals in the name of rituals downgrades the entire effort of the government. Now, educating the younger generation about the science and literature without disrespecting their beliefs is the goal to be achieved. Still now the practices of witchcraft is seen in several tribal villages, which is unknowingly torturing the women for no fault of their own.

5) Assurance that they deserve the best.

The most important aspect of the empowering of the nation is by helping each other when in need. Since the tribals are less fortunate to get all the best facilities for sustaining the life, it is the duty of the government and the social workers to upgrade their status in the society. The government has done its part in giving them reservation in education and work sectors. Now the social workers part is to encourage them to lead their lives up to the minimum standards needed.

6) Preserving the environment.

The tribal people are the most down to earth people residing in a collaborative relationship with the nature. They respect and worship the plants and trees and preserves their mother nature in their own convenient ways. For them, nature is their home and life , thus serving the tribal will not only impact their livelihood but also preserve the environment as a whole.

Now, let’s see some of the basics of social work.

The six core values of the social work profession are as follows:

• Service towards the people.

• Social justice to the backwards.

• Dignity and worth of the individual.

• Importance and centrality of human relationships must be ensured.

• Integrity among them.

• Competence for betterment.


The tribal people represents a very rich cultural heritage of the society and preserving them is the duty of us. The people who stays close to forest  and protects the beauty of mother nature surely deserves to be looked after their needs. Social workers must work cooperatively with the inhabitants to gain their objective of upbringing the power of the tribals in sustaining a happy and prosperous life in their own terms.

Leave a Reply