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The Ho people are an ethnic group of India. Though majority of Ho resides in neighbouring Jharkhand, Ho territory also extends to adjacent areas in the neighbouring states of Odisha, where there are approximately 80,600 Ho. The ethnonym "Ho" is derived from the Ho language word h? meaning "human". The name is also applied to their language which is an Austroasiatic language closely related to Mundari. According to Ethnologue, the total number of people speaking the Ho language was 1,040,000 as of 2001. Over 90% of the Ho practice the indigenous religion. The majority of the Ho are involved in agriculture, either as land owners or laborers, while others are engaged in mining. Compared to the rest of India, the Ho have a low literacy rate and a low rate of school enrollment. Sikshasandhan started its work with this group since its inception at Kaptipada area of Mayurbhanj district, where they are the predominant tribal group. Ho also found in large number in nearby Kendujhar District.


Lodha means piece of flesh named after their ancestor. Lodhas have been in the focus of anthropologists and social activists. During the early period of their rule, the British government in India oppressed the tribal people of Jungle Mahals, who were traditionally dependent upon the forests for a living. They had revolted but were ruthlessly suppressed. Having been deprived of their livelihood and without any alternatives, they took to criminal ways of life and were subsequently branded a criminal tribe. They should properly be labelled as uprooted rebels. Lodha titles are Nayek, Mallick, Digar, Sardar, Bhokta, Kotal, Dandapat, Bhunya etc. These titles reflect social responsibility. They are descendants of Jarasandh from Mahabharata. The Lodhas hold that they are Sabars. Now the group is declared as a 'Primitive Tribal Group'(PTG) by the Government of India. They are found mostly in Morada and Suliapada blocks of Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. Sikshasandhan has started working with them with the support of Lodha Development Agency and Karl Kubel Stiftung, Germany.


Khonds (also spelled Kondha, Kandha, Khondho etc.) are Munda ethnic group and indigenous tribal people of India. They are a designated Scheduled Tribe in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and West Bengal. Traditionally hunter-gatherers, they are divided into the hill-dwelling Khonds and plain-dwelling Khonds for census purposes; all the Khonds identify by their clan and usually hold large tracts of fertile land but still practise hunting, gathering and slash and burn agriculture in the forests as a symbol of their connection to and ownership of the forest. The Khonds speak the Kui language. Sikshasandhan is working with this group directly in Rayagada district and as a resource support agency in Kalahandi and Kandhamal districts of Odisha.

Khadia Mankdia

The Khadia, Mankadia are primitive tribals of special mention in the district of Mayurbhanj. The Khadia & Mankadia are nomadic food gatherers and hunters, found in the hilly areas of Similipal hill ranges in Panchpir sub-division particularly in Jashipur block areas. Simlipal National Park is a national park and a tiger reserve in the Mayurbhanj district in the Indian state of Odisha. Many of these tribal are displaced due to the tiger reserve. Sikshasandhan picks the girls of these tribes to educate them in special education center at Jashipur.