Twenty-six-year-old medical student Dr Payal Tadvi who committed suicide on May 22 over alleged harassment by three seniors in Mumbai belonged to the Tadvi Bhil Muslim community. The gynaecology PG student got admission through a reserved category seat in TN Topiwala National Medical College in 2018. A year later, she was found hanging in her hostel room.
Tadvi Bhil, the community to which Payal belonged is a tribal community listed under Scheduled Tribes. The community is concentrated in small pockets of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. According to the Indian Express, Tadvi Bhil is a sub-caste of the larger Bhil community and those who adopted Islam are known as Tadvi Bhil Muslims.
Being syncretic and unrigid in their practice of Islam, the Tadvi Bhil Muslims retain many aspects of Hindu culture. According to Shekhar Madhukar Sunarkar, a Gandhian social worker, though they offer namaz, they also fold and join their hands in front of an idol. Their lifestyle remains traditionally and culturally Hindu.
Tadvi a second-year PG medical student of TN Topiwala National Medical College committed suicide at her hostel room in Nair hospital. She allegedly faced harassment and caste discrimination by three seniors.