Jamshedpur, Nov 18: Adivasis constitute 8% of India’s population, yet they are neglected and often victims of development.
Adivasis believe in living in harmony with nature’, said Karma Oraon one of the panelist speakers during the session on ‘Tribals and Protection of Natural Habitat’ in a lively discussion moderated by Dr. Felix Padel, with the panelists putting forth their views on the topic.
K C Majhi in his address said, ‘Tribals are entwined with nature. Their souls and lives are based on nature. Their religion is nature and in nature are their religious symbols. Jadav Penang while speaking at the panel on Tribals and Protection of Natural Habitat said ‘I planted trees along the arid land of the Brahmaputra, starting 1979, following a severe drought.
Today, 550 acres of green forest stand in its place with wild animals comprising tigers, elephants, and rhinos among others. The fourth and concluding day was marked by panel discussions with eminent panelists discussing issues related to ‘Tribal Languages’ and ‘Tribals and Protection of Natural Habitat’ respectively.
Noted academician Prof Girdhari Ram Gaunjhu, Jharkhand, moderated the panel discussion on ‘Tribal Languages’at Manthan. Kanjibhai Patel a panelist from Gujarat, said, ‘“Every language has some specialty, so all communities must unite for holistic growth of their literature.” Dr Narayanan said, “Tribal people are forced to learn in alien language during primary education.
This is the fate of all tribal students in India.” Dr Rajkishore Naik, a panelist from Andhra Pradesh said, ‘Let us promise on this platform, Tribal Conclave, which is organised by Tata Steel, to speak and write our own language.’
The day also witnessed screening of documentary films underscoring the tribal heritage of the country. Four films – Please Don’t Beat Me, Sir; Setu; Veer Binjhwar; Birth 1871 were screened during the day at Bioscope enthralling the audience.
The day ended with a string of cultural performances by the tribals from Manipur, Maharashtra, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland and Jharkhand.
The 4-day conclave organised by Tata Steel’s Tribal Cultural Society included a conglomeration of 2000 plus tribal artists, thought leaders, eminent personalities and activists from more than 40 different tribes, from across 19 states in the country – Andaman & Nicobar, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Tripura.
This event featured panel discussions (Tribal livelihoods, Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups, Tribal medicinal systems, Tribal perspective on development, Tribal languages and literature, Tribals and protection of natural habitats and a Round table with tribal women), cultural performances from around the country, film screenings, textiles and handicrafts.