Welcome

Enjoy a virtual journey across India with the help of an interactive map >>

This website is all about “Showcasing new initiatives in education”, inspired by a fundamental commitment to human rights by India’s founding fathers:

India is a secular state with a constitution committed to the unique demography, history and culture of each state and union territory – knowindia.gov.in >>

In Nehru’s view, the process of modernization must not be taken as forcing a sudden break with the tribals past but help them build upon it and grow by a natural process of evolution. – Chittaranjan Mishra in “Tribal Philosophy and Pandit Nehru” >>

This view is being upheld by leading educators to this very day:

[T]he primary identity of every citizen of India, over and above all other identities of religion, caste, language, race and suchlike, is that of an Indian. – Romila Thapar (Emeritus Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University) >>

“The goal is to prepare some model students in our villages, so that others will be inspired to follow them.” – Santal educationist Boro Baski >>

While commemorating 150 years of the Mahatma Gandhi, the Vice President of India referred to a necessary and long overdue step, in India as in the rest of the world: “we shall first have to give up this hubris of considering tribes backward. Every tribe has a rich and living cultural tradition and we must respect them […] not only social courtesy to respect their cultural traditions but it is also our Constitutional obligation. As we are looking for ways of sustainable development, these groups can teach us lessons in sustainable development. […] There can’t be a better example of Unity in Diversity.”

On similar lines, it is worth paying attention to a special video message by M.S. Swaminathan – India’s foremost authority on food security – who reminded his fellow citizens that the nation’s ‘primary conservers’ often are tribal farmers. This fact explains the motivation of scientists working for the pioneering foundation he established keen on letting the world know why these ‘guardians of biological diversity’ are entitled to protection under the law known as Biodiversity Act (published by the National Biodiversity Authority). Whether or not they remain in a position to fulfil this important role depends on the implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act passed in 2006, commonly known as the Forest Rights Act (FRA).

The tribal food basket has always been ­diverse and nutritious, including maize, minor millets like kodo and kutki, oil seeds like ramtila, along with fruits, leaves, ­rhizomes, mushrooms, meat and fish. […] We have pushed them out of their complementary relationship with ecology, way of life and time-tested nutrition >>

Continue your exploration of India’s tribal cultural heritage by

… and deepen your understanding by

Understanding science and maths concepts through classroom activities and Vidyodaya’s
collaborative YouTube channel: Kaathadi | More resources for the classroom >>

Take a moment to think of any “free person” – including girls and boys no longer deprived of childhood and proper education – before contemplating what the preconditions for their, even our own freedom may be:

He who has not surrendered his free will and abdicated his intelligence and independent thinking, who does not blindly act on the teachings of others, who does not blindly accept anything without critically analysing and examining its veracity and usefulness […] I call him a free man. – Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar who was more than the “drafter of the Constitution” quoted in Journal of People’s Studies >>

Shanthi Kunjan with mother © Priti David in 
“The forest in Shanthi Teacher’s classroom” | Ruralindiaonline.org >>
Tribal elders | Women >>
“National development and the development of tribal communities are linked to each other”:
Droupadi Murmu – 15th President of India

“Tribal communities are a standing example of how women play a major role in preservation of eco historic cultural heritage in India.” – Mari Marcel Thekaekara (writer and Co-Founder of ACCORD-Nilgiris) | Learn more >>

“There is no social bias against women in tribal communities such as there exists among the middle castes, especially landed ones. Women can ask for a divorce, and in many communities, money is paid to the girl’s family at the time of marriage.” – Abhay Bang, the award-winning doctor and social activist from Gadchiroli in Maharashtra | Learn more >>

Find up-to-date information provided by, for and about Indian authors, researchers, officials, and educatorsMore search options >>
Search tips: in the search field seen here, type the name of any tribal (Adivasi) community, region, state or language; add keywords of special interest (childhood, language, sacred grove, tribal education, women); consider rights to which Scheduled Tribes are entitled (FRA Forest Rights Act, protection from illegal mining, UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, right to education, Universal Declaration of Human Rights); specify any other issue or news item you want to learn more about (biodiversity, climate change, ecology, economic development, ethnobotany, ethnomedicine, global warming, health, nutrition and malnutrition, rural poverty)

For a list of websites included in a single search, click here. To search Indian periodicals, magazines, web portals and other sources safely, click here. To find an Indian PhD thesis on a particular tribal community, region and related issues, click here >>

“We have to write our own stories, about our issues, from our own perspectives” Abhay Xaxa, a “Fiercely Unapologetic Adivasi Scholar-Activist | Read more >>

More tips

Thank you for your interest, suggestions and other feedback!

Credits
Banner photo and art: courtesy Arun VC (Kerala)