The Impact of international developments on the genetic resources of the developing world greatly and deeply affect the livelihood security of rural and tribal communities that depend on them. To tackle these issues, the Gene campaign was established in 1993 as a research and advocacy organization dedicated to food and livelihood security of rural and adivasi communities.
The Gene campaign works on a variety of issues such as tribal farmer rights awareness, survey and documentation of indigenous varieties of food, advocacy at the policy making levels, research on the ills of genetically modified crops, developing sustainable and self reliant practices.
Of particular interest is the paper on conserving indigenous knowledge and the hurdles posed by government machinery
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) helped organize a Traditional Knowledge and Science Congress for Adivasi (Indigenous) Children in 2010 in India. The aim was to make the adivasi children conscious of their traditional knowledge and practices in their own communities as well as in other communities, make them aware of the importance and relevance of these practices and instill a sense of pride and confidence, encourage them to seek solutions for addressing present day problems using traditional knowledge and improving on it, foster a sense of solidarity amongst children from various adivasi communities regions and strengthen awareness of the scientific traditions and wisdom of adivasi communities among mainstream students and the public.
The detailed report of the Science Congress can be found at –
The topics ranged from traditional agriculture, medicine, diet to music, art and sports.
The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) is an independent body set up to monitor and investigate the implementation of the rights and privileges accorded to the scheduled tribes in India. It also participates and advices in the planning process regarding tribal policy matters.
Of particular interest to me, for my research project was the document published by the NCST, elaborating its views on tribal education and steps to improve it, as forwarded to the Planning Commission for the five year plan for 2012-17
A detailed document explaining the structure of tribal welfare in India can be a good read to understand the scenario in India
The Ministry for Tribal Affairs was set up as late as 1999 in India separating from the Ministry for Social Justice, to create focused efforts towards integrated socio-economic development of tribal populations in India.
The site is home to a variety of official information regarding Tribal data, schemes for tribal empowerment, tribal healthcare, Forest Rights Act, constitutional provisions and Annual reports of the working of the ministry.
What was impressive to me was that site has a detailed record of the Parliamentary discussions concerning Tribal issues which could be found at the link given below.
While studying for the research paper, I came across this great Academy for conservation and study of Adivasi culture and language based in the tribal village of Tejgadh, Gujarat in India.
The Adivasi Academy does not follow a single track academic agenda, courses and research programs are created from batch to batch or project to project depending on the needs perceived for conserving tribal identity or promoting development in Adivasi areas. The projects include research on community ethnographies, language tools, healthcare programmes to tackle sickle cell anaemia and tuberculosis (prevalent in those parts) and tribal education.
In spite of Howe (1998) contending that Cyberspace is no place for tribalism, few efforts have been made to bring ICT to the tribal community. However, these efforts are contentious according to many. An argument for use of ICT in tribal lives can be found below –
An actual effort in this direction has been documented here –
As pointed out by Marker (2006), the Adivasi (aboriginal) world view of development and purpose of life is dramatically different from the conventional view. Following are a few websites and articles which illustrate this worldview beautifully –
A website of Adivasi perceptions on development – http://www.notprimitive.in/
A blog on Adivasi perceptions of fulfilment – http://reflectionsofindia.com/2015/03/05/adivasifulfilment/
A lengthy article by Dr. Ganesh Devy who has worked with the tribal community in India, rethinking on the definition of development and its effects on the Adivasi life – http://publications.aidindia.org/content/view/474/130/
Similar to the results pointed out by Hare (2011), the status of Adivasi education in India shows poor progress due to a variety of reasons.
Results published by the National Institute of Advanced Studies –
Status of primary education for tribal students –
The results of the UNESCO backed study –
As pointed out in the experiences illustrated by Hare (2011), the Emotional Health of the Indigenous students in India also suffers considerably in the mainstream educational system.
A comparative study on self -esteem among tribal and non-tribal students in India-
Impact of Self concept on attitude towards education of Adivasi students in India
I was deeply affected by the stories of discrimination and abuse in the Residential schools for the aboriginal people. I decided to look at the experiences of Adivasi students in the Indian mainstream education.
Experience of a tribal student – http://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/india/tribal-education-india
The Human Rights Watch Report – http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/04/22/india-marginalized-children-denied-education
News item – http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Tribal-student-at-AIIMS-hangs-self/articleshow/12139294.cms