Jamshedpur, Nov 19: Samvaad, a one-of-its kind pan-India tribal conclave organised by Tata Steel Foundation, concluded today ushering in an online format the brought together tribal communities from across the world. More than 3,000 people of 114 tribes from 23 states of India, 5 Union Territories and 17 countries including Sri Lanka, South Africa, Nepal, Kenya, Philippines, Thailand and Tanzania among others converged this year.
The Samvaad Fellowship provides critical gap funding and also works towards facilitating platforms at national and international levels for providing enhanced inputs to the fellows. This year, the Fellowships were awarded to:
1. Deepa Pawar from the Gadiya Lohar tribe for the project on Documentation of Traditional Art of Iron Weapons and Tool Making of the Gadiya Lohar.
2. Taukeer Alam from the Van Gujjar tribe for the project on Mari Birsa (Our Heritage) An Initiative to Conserve the Language of Van Gujjar.
3. Bibtha S from the Kadar tribe for the project on Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage of the Kadar Community.
4. Lalremruata Ngamlai from the Biate tribe for the project on Documentation of Biate Indigenous Sports and Exploring its Role in the Cultural Revival & Preservation of the Tribe.
5. Ariba Anar from the Sangtam tribe for the project on Revival of Folk Songs and Folklores of Sangtam Tribe.
6. K Bowang Kho from the Poumai Naga tribe for the project on Reclaim the Past and Empower the Present: Pouli (The Earthen Pot of Onaeme).
A musical evening by Samvaad’s musical collective, Rhythms of the Earth, took the viewers into a melodious journey. On the occasion, two compositions by ROTE created in collaboration with folk rock band Atript were also released.
The first song, Ekta – The Power, speaks of the strength that the tribal communities derive from their unity, while the second song, Ansuni Kahaniyan, speaks of those unheard stories of courage from the tribal lands that the world is yet to listen to. Also, musical band Salem known for their Adhunik Nagpuri songs also performed on the occasion.
On the inaugural day, two singles, Birsa Ker Raij (a collaboration with eminent folk singer Padma Shri Mukund Nayak and is a tribute to Bhagwan Birsa Munda and the essence of tribal identity) and Abua Disum Abua Raij (“our land, our rule” that takes inspiration from the slogan coined by Bhagwan Birsa Munda in the 19th century) were also released.
During the conclave, experts and tribal leaders came together to recognize how traditional models of governance have worked during challenging times, to explore innovative ways of governance to bring communities together, and to understand sync between parallel governance systems in resolving crisis.
Screenings were held at 23 locations across eight states of India. These screening were specially facilitated in rural tribal hamlets to ensure that more and more people get an opportunity to join the conclave.
“We set out in this quest to ensure that dialogue continue despite the pressing times and also wanted that the people of Jamshedpur who look forward to the conclave does not miss out this year. We were finally able to continue the dialogue and experts and tribal leaders from very far-off places joined us. We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who have helped us in making this a success,” says Sourav Roy, Chief (Corporate Social Responsibility), Tata Steel.
The many offshoots of Samvaad such as tribal handicraft, tribal film screenings, tribal cuisine and the cultural performances from various tribes that contribute significantly to the essence of Samvaad brought the traditional practices and rich heritage to the common masses through its YouTube channel.
Art enthusiasts got a chance to attend masterclasses on Oraon, Sohrai, Saura, Gond, Warli and Rajwar Bhittichitra art forms that were hosted by eminent tribal artisans. Each day concluded with cultural performances from celebrated artists like Guru Rewben from Manipur and Tetseo Sisters from Nagaland and cultural groups from tribes of Galo, Siddhi, Dandami Madia, Bhumij and others.
As a part of the film screenings, Samuday ke Saath, Ashok Veilou’s ‘Look At The Sky’, Chentai Khiamniungan’s “Strength in Diversity” and Johar by Abhijit Patro were screened. The Samuday ke Sath film competition was also launched today.
This year, we have received an overwhelming 103 eligible applications from 20 states which is more than double the applications received last year which are being evaluated by a jury.
The Samvaad ecosystem has brought together more than 30,000 people from 117 tribes across 27 states of India and 18 countries in the last 6 years, and is also an event that the citizens of Jamshedpur keenly look forward every year. Samvaad encourages tribal communities to take the lead in initiating discourse on issues that govern their social sustenance and development.