May 30, 2019

Payal Tadvi, the 26-year-old medical student who committed suicide on May 22 over alleged harassment by three seniors in Mumbai, belonged to Tadvi Bhil community.

Tadvi Bhil: 

  • Status: Tadvi Bhil is a tribal community listed under Scheduled Tribes. They are a sub-caste of the larger Bhil community.

  • Distribution: They are found in four Indian states namely Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

  • Language: The Tadvi speak a dialect of their own, also known as Tadvi. Their language is also Dhanka, which belongs to the Bhil group of the Indo-Aryan language family.

Tadvi Bhil Muslims:

  • Those who adopted Islam are known as Tadvi Bhil Muslims.

  • They are unrigid in their practice of Islam. They offer namaz but they also retain many aspects of Hindu culture like wearing a sari, or folding their hands in front of an idol.

  • Social status: Very few in the community are educated. Literacy rates remain low. Payal’s family claims that she was the first woman in their community to become a gynaecologist. The community has poor health outreach.