Even as indiscriminate exploitation of the natural resources especially mineral wealth is continuing unabated in plain areas, the Adivasis of the Konda Reddi Primitive Tribal Group (PTG) have been nurturing their traditional practices in harmony with mother nature in their hilltop habitations in the Bhadrachalam Agency.

Notwithstanding the consistent efforts by the Bhadrachalam-based Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) to bring the Konda Reddis to the resettlement colonies down the hills under the “Conservation-cum-Development Plan” (CCDP) in the past, a majority of them stayed back in their hilltop habitations.

The Konda Reddis residing in Chintur, Kunavaram, V. R. Puram, Aswaraopet, Dammapeta and Velerupadu tribal sub-plan mandals have been following their age-old traditions devotedly.

Living in their natural habitat, the Konda Reddis have been eking out a livelihood by collecting minor forest products like honey, making a wide array of bamboo products such as baskets and cots besides cultivating jowar, bottle gourd and a few other traditional crops.

“The Konda Reddis are known for their eco-friendly practices such as use of household articles made of bamboo, bottle gourd, and seeds,” said Vasanth Rao, in-charge of ITDA’s Tribal Research and Cultural Training Institute.

“They cultivate limited crops in shifting agriculture mode in an environmentally sustainable manner.

They don’t even use cattle in their agriculture operations,” he said.

The bamboo based products like traditional cots reflect their innate craftsmanship, he said.

The ITDA has initiated steps to enable the Konda Reddis living in 71 habitations including 36 hilltop habitations produce value-added bamboo products as part of income generation activities.