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Accessing to education is essential for the development of the society. However, marginalised groups like the scheduled tribes have often been limited by social constructs of the ‘verna system’ which is prevalent in Central India. The influence of cultural practices is reflected by the poor access to both literacy and education in the area as compared to the scheduled tribes of North East India which enjoys a more flexible culture and had been exposed to the activities of Christian missionaries during the colonial period. The prevalence of patriarchy in Central India has too seen its influence to a wider gender disparity in the area. The paper discusses the disparity in literacy and educational attainment of scheduled tribes in Central India, with special reference to Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.