UN: Indian tribals' conditions like sub-Saharan nations

New Delhi, Jan 17: Indigenous communities of India find themselves on a par with the bottom 25 countries in the poverty index, according to a UN study.

The first UN State of the World's Indigenous Peoples Report (2010) found that Indian tribals are facing high levels of poverty, illiteracy, poor health and human rights abuse and their condition is lower than those of Scheduled Castes.

The report, which was released globally on Thursday, said, "On UNDP's Human Poverty Index ranking of countries, indigenous communities in India are comparable to sub-Saharan nations which are ranked in the bottom 25.

"By taking into account the poverty of indigenous people, the Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty by 2015 may not be achieved in India," the UN said.

"The number of indigenous people across the world is about 370 million.