In an act of cultural assertion, different adivasi peoples in India, are devising their own scripts. Many adivasi communities find the roman script too inadequate to spell out the specialized pronunciations in different adivasi languages. Thus the need of separate scripts for languages is felt strongly. Many educated individuals from various communities have come forward to devise scripts specialized for their own native languages.
A piece of news regarding the same – http://www.allindiaaseca.org/MEDIA/2015/TOI8.6.15.html
A website detailing many new adivasi language scripts devised – http://www.omniglot.com/writing/kotia.htm
Music and dance has always been a part of the cultural milieu of the Santhal community. However, the conventional education in schools in India has been totally cut off from these cultural elements. The Rolf Schoembs Vidyashram, Birbhum, tries to use the bilingual approach to teaching language. The alphabet book is bilingual, with every Santhali word written alongside its Bengali counterpart. every child learns to draw and sculpt with his /her tender hands as is akin to Santhali culture. Dance and music is an intrinsic part of the curriculum. Every child gets to learn Santhali folk songs and rhymes and gets introduced to the Santhali idiom.
Video | Santal children learning through video as teaching instrument
Teaching Santal children by Boro Baski
Santal musical instrument workshops
Yakshi is an organisation which, in their own words “supports adivasi visions of buen vivir ( manchi jeevitam- a good life) based on holistic co-existence and recovery of lost harmony between humans and mother nature.”
Yakshi mainly engages with the adivasi peoples over issues of – Law and Governance, Women empowerment, Youth Leadership and cultural action which includes theatre and folk art.
One interesting endeavour has been the setting up of Gotti – A creative space for young people to connect to social movements through critical dialogue and inter-generational learning. It also provides a space for nurturing life skills like organic food farming, sustaining local performing arts, reviving local crafts, exploring music, culture, arts, theatre and ideas and providing a creative learning space for children.
While many thought of Indian independence from the British as a landmark event which would guarantee sovereignty over all territory and the creation of a unanimous Indian identity, things were different for the Adivasis of India. While looking at the history of colonization in India in the context of the Adivasis, I came across a very informative work by Dip Kapoor from the University of Alberta. It sheds light on the current issues of the Adivasis and their perspectives of post colonial independent India about land, culture and education.