Tribal conclave begins, participants from 23 Indian states, 17 countries in attendance
Jamshedpur, Nov 15: Samvaad, a one-of-its kind pan-India tribal conclave organised by Tata Steel Foundation, kicked off today taking the conversations and celebrations onto digital platforms. The conclave began with paying homage to Bhagwan Birsa Munda, India’s mostly widely revered tribal icon, with his birth anniversary coinciding with the ceremony. T V Narendran, CEO & MD, Tata Steel, and Rejan Guria, of the active community voices at Khunti, Jharkhand, were present and formally declared the Conclave ‘open’.
“Samvaad 2020 is into its seventh edition. The ongoing constraints on physical assembly and movement have compelled us to recalibrate the model for this year. We have come up with a format which should be effective and will take the dialogue to people across the world digitally. Samvaad as a platform allows all of us to collectively discover and define our larger purpose, create objectives and target outcomes which are pivoted around inclusivity,” said T V Narendran, CEO & MD, Tata Steel.
This year, the conclave will witness participation of 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 who will converge digitally. The theme for this year is ‘Coming Together for Social Change’ representing a belief that there are inherent aspects of tribalism that places seamlessness as a core value of society, and valuable lessons in wonderful stories of tribal communities coming together to positively influence their core development challenges.
In keeping with the essence and the theme of the seventh edition of Samvaad, respected leaders and elders from tribal and indigenous communities of India and beyond came together to set in motion the conclave. The next four days will witness a cross-pollination of ideas among tribal women and men who will join online and celebrate the vibrant cultures of the different tribes. 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 will bring the traditional practices and rich heritage to the common masses through its digital footprint which includes website (https://www.tatasteel.com/initiatives/samvaad/index.html) and the YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtyIjTKJAYEaMH3BkcHRVzw).
Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President (Corporate Services), Tata Steel and Sourav Roy, Chief (Corporate Social Responsibility), Tata Steel, Dasmat Hansda, Jugsalai Torop Pargana, Traditional Santhal Governance System, East Singhbhum, Krishna Chandra Bodra, President, Adivasi Ho Samaj Mahasabha, West Singhbhum and Uttam Singh Sardar, Pradhan, traditional Bhumij governance system, Potkal, were present on the occasion. The inaugural evening was curated to bring exclusive cultural performances from India and beyond to the people. On the occasion, two songs composed by Rhythms of the Earth (ROTE), the musical collaborative of Samvaad, were released. The first song, Birsa Ker Raij (is a collaboration with eminent folk singer Padma Shri Mukund Nayak and is a tribute to Bhagwan Birsa Munda. Marking the 20th statehood day of Jharkhand, the second composition, Abua Disum Abua Raij (our land, our rule) takes inspiration from the slogan coined by Bhagwan Birsa Munda in the 19th century. Around 15 artistes from ROTE came together to create the compositions.
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 tribal community and the citizens of Jamshedpur keenly look forward to each year. Samvaad encourages tribal communities to take the lead in initiating discourse on issues that govern their social sustenance and development.