Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Experts brainstorm on redesigning new social contract for indigenous peoples

Jamshedpur, Aug 9: Experts from diverse backgrounds came together to discuss redesigning a new social contract for indigenous peoples, where their own forms of governance and ways of life must be respected and based on their free, prior and informed consent.

On the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples today, Tata Steel Foundation hosted a webinar to honour the strength, resilience, dignity, and pride of indigenous peoples.  

Mukesh Birua, social activist and bio-chemical engineer and Rashmi Katyayan, member of Ranchi District Bar Association and poet, joined as panelists and highlighted how the preservation and promotion of indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge and practices can be leveraged further.

“Tribal communities in rural pockets have always been on the collective journey to ensure that no one is left behind but it is time for the larger bodies to realise that it is high time to take up policies and initiatives at their levels,” said Birua.

The session was moderated by Gunjal Ikir Munda who is working with the Central University of Jharkhand at Ranchi.

On the occasion, film competition Samuday ke Saath was also launched. Samuday ke Saath was initiated in the year 2015 as a part of tribal conclave Samvasd with the passionate intent to understand, harness and disseminate the power of cinema as a medium to foster an alternative perspective on development surrounding tribal communities in India. The film competition was established in 2016 to recognise the thoughts, ideas, perspective of tribal film-makers or of film-students enthusiastic about filming tribal issues. Samuday Ke Saath have helped build up an effort which has over 80 films authorized in our database and reached more than 28,000 individuals. 

“It takes time to reach conclusions on matters that requires contemplation but nonetheless the perseverance should continue. And, cinema has the ability to speak to people in a language that people are comfortable with and is a way to continue such conversations,” says Sourav Roy, Chief, Corporate Social Responsibility, Tata Steel.

The latest composition by Rhythms of the Earth (ROTE), which is an ensemble of tribal music across India that we have curated, was also released on the occasion. The song comprising 12 artistes was based on the theme of the day.

Rhythms of the Earth (ROTE) that germinated on the stage of Samvaad, brings together more than 90 musicians from over 16 tribes and 6 states. In February 2018, ROTE performed at National Centre of Performing Arts, Mumbai and the same year in November witnessed a music collaboration with Mr Bickram Ghosh and Mr Purbayan Chatterjee. In November 2019, ROTE’s traditional music fused with Swarathma’s contemporary beats and brought alive a musical symphony. 

A diverse audience joined the webinar and interacted with the panellists.  In our journey of understanding and ushering a shared context with the indigenous communities across our operational locations, we have been fortunate to closely associate with their culture and practices that make them so unique and sublime.  

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