Category Archives: Education and literacy

“The goal is to prepare some model students in our villages, so that others will be inspired to follow them.” – Santal educationist Boro Baski in “Long-term success of non-formal Adivasi school in West Bengal” (D+C Development and Cooperation, 2 July 2009)
https://www.dandc.eu/en/article/long-term-success-non-formal-adivasi-school-west-bengal
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=2274

“[A]bout 40 per cent of school absence in rural India is ­attributed to only one factor: malnutrition.” – Damayanti Datta in “Rage Of A Silent, Invisible Killer Called Malnutrition – Why Shining India Is In Grip Of An Epic Calamity” (Outlook Magazine, 26 August 2019)
https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/india-news-rage-of-a-silent-invisible-killer-called-malnutrition-why-shining-india-is-in-grip-of-an-epic-calamity/302037
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=30029

“India has the world’s largest tribal population and it is also the most economically underprivileged in our country. One of the first steps to developing any community is education.” – India Today Web Desk in “Educating the world’s largest tribal population is a challenge for India” (16 March 2017)
https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/featurephilia/story/tribal-education-and-its-challenging-issues-in-india-965832-2017-03-16
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=10669

“A sustainable improvement in the quality would happen only when there is an effort to improve quality along with inclusion. This cannot be achieved by creating a few centers of excellence.” – V. Santhakumar (Azim Premji University) in: “Only small, consistent steps can improve the quality of education in India” (Economics in Action, 11 October 2019)
https://vsanthakumar.wordpress.com/2019/11/01/only-small-consistent-steps-can-improve-the-quality-of-education-in-india/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=30571

“The concept of public education is based on the objective of inclusiveness. What are the consequences of this overnight switch to a digital mode when a large segment of population remains digitally excluded? […] The path we now follow focusses only on people who are digitally privileged. People without access to resources, data and devices have been left in the cold.” – K.S. Madhavan in “Kerala: Path we’ve taken favours privileged” (Times of India, 3 June 2020)
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/kerala-path-weve-taken-favours-privileged/articleshow/76174319.cms
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=1882

“A most important truth, which we are apt to forget, is that a teacher can never truly teach unless he is still learning himself. A lamp can never light another lamp unless it continues to burn its own flame.” – Rabindranath Tagore quoted in Santiniketan (1961, p. 28)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=2603

“Recently, one of my tribal friends spoke warmly of Murmu’s genuine concern for higher education in Jharkhand. Yet, how can this be ensured for tribals without providing quality education for them at the primary and secondary levels? Many ST seats [i.e. reserved for students from ‘backward communities’ labelled ST for ‘Scheduled Tribes’] are not filled in professional colleges because the candidates are not found suitable.” – Santali poet, scholar and translator Ivy Imogene Hansdak in “Presidential elections: An Adivasi in high office” (Indian Express, 16 July 2022)

“Literacy rate among the [Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups] has gone up significantly over the past. From a single digit literacy rate, the figures have increased to 30 to 40 % in many of the PVTGs. However, as is the case with entire India, female literacy rate is still considerably lower compared to male counterpart.” – “The Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups of India — Privileges and Predicaments” (published by the Anthropological Survey of India AnSI), quoted by Shiv Sahay Singh in “Vulnerable tribes: lost in a classification trap” (The Hindu, 8 April 2017)
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/vulnerable-tribes-lost-in-a-classification-trap/article17894997.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?page_id=22029

“The Big-brother attitude of educators must end. The approach to tribal education has to be a two-way transaction of give and take, based on an informed appreciation of traditional tribal values and wisdom.” – Uma Ram (Professor & Head Department of English, Kakatiya PG College, Chhattisgarh) in Issues in Tribal Education in Bastar, Chhattisgarh (Folklore Foundation, Lokaratna, Volume IV 2011)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=14683

“History is becoming a cataclysm. You’re given a question and you are given an answer. You stick with that question and you stick with that answer, don’t ask another question and don’t look for another answer. Which is why one is so worried about the New Education Policy.” – Romila Thapar (Emeritus Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University) interviewed by Karan Thapar in “I Don’t Like Modi’s India, It Is Too Narrow and Limited” (The Wire, 12 August 2022)
https://thewire.in/history/full-text-karan-romila-thapar-modi-independence
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=20996

“In North India it is still common to reprimand a child: study or else you’ll cut grass; the prospect of manual work invoked as a threat. Education was valued because it could widen the distance from the labouring multitudes.” – Author and diplomat Pavan K. Varma in Being Indian: Inside the Real India (2005), p.104
http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/903789955
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=21762

“Education has to liberate a person from narrow world view and the boundaries of caste, community, race and gender. Teachers have been entrusted with the responsibility of moulding the young minds to understand the world and make it better.” – Shri Pranab Mukherjee, President of India (National Award 2014 to Teachers)
https://www.education.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/President%20-Confers.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22421

“Janakiamma has not had formal education, but she is now the director of a farmer producer company in the Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu. Started by the tribal people, for the tribal people, Aadhimalai Pazhangudiyinar Producer Company Ltd (APPCL), located in Kotagiri in Nilgiris, has seven directors from the indigenous communities at the helm of affairs. .” – Arathi Menon in “Aadhimalai, winner of UN Equator Prize from Nilgiris, offers a lesson in indigenous economics” (Mongabay Series: Eco Hope, 20 December 2021)
https://india.mongabay.com/2021/12/aadhimalai-winners-of-un-equator-prize-from-nilgiris-offer-a-lesson-in-indigenous-economics
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=46483

“There are many indices one can use to measure the shocking failures of education, even as it is conventionally understood, in India today. The stories of state-run schools that are in absolute shambles are legion, and have been documented by thousands of researchers, journalists, and social workers. More than seventy years after independence, the effective countrywide literacy rate is less than 50%; in some districts of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh, female literacy rates still hover at 10%. The best public universities have been gutted; all that is left is a shambolic display of awards of “excellence”, a word as shorn of content as any. In one instance the award has been to an institute of higher education that does not even exist.” – “The Undeveloped Heart: Gandhi on Education” by Vinay Lal (Professor of History & Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles UCLA), 15 October 2019
https://vinaylal.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/the-undeveloped-heart-gandhi-on-education/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=29790

“Nearly one in every twelve humans is a young Indian for whom meaningful education is of critical importance. […] If knowledge is the core of education and if education lays the very foundation of a nation, the author [Ganesh Devy] argues that it is of critical importance that the plight of educational institutions and the need to generate knowledge appropriate to India are addressed without any delay.” – Privy Trifles reviewing The Crisis Within by Ganesh [G.N.] Devy (The Book Shelf, 24 June 2017)
https://www.privytrifles.co.in/2017/06/book-review-crisis-within-by-gn-devy.html
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23322

“Due to the pandemic, the school has been closed. However, teaching has not really stopped. Teachers make short videos and send them to the students’ parents. Whenever the students watch the videos, they respond on the WhatsApp group.” – B Ramdas, co-founder of Viswa Bharati Vidyodaya Trust (VBVT) in “The story of YouTube channel Kaathadi and how it’s empowering tribal communities in TN” by Megha Kaveri featuring “Kaathadi”, an innovative YouTube channel accessible to all learners (thenewsminute.com Education, 18 July 2020)
https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/story-youtube-channel-kaathadi-and-how-its-empowering-tribal-communities-tn-128968
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=34846

“At the core of any higher education policy lies the notion of a university [distinguished] from its medieval forerunners by envisaging for it an autonomous sphere in relation to the emerging nation-state. Universities are thus required to be ‘incubators of ideas and innovations’.” – Suranjan Das, Vice-Chancellor of Jadavpur University Kolkata (The Telegraph, 30 September 2020)
https://www.telegraphindia.com/west-bengal/calcutta/the-relevance-of-vidyasagar/cid/1793177
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=35639

“[The] morungs of the Nagas, the dhumkuria of the Santals and the gotuls of the Gonds [are] equivalents to schooling systems in mainstream societies.” – Subhadra Mitra Channa in Anthropological Perspectives on Indian Tribes, quoted by Richard Kamei in “Uncivilising the Mind: How anthropology shaped the discourse on tribes in India” (Caravan Magazine, 1 March 2021)
https://caravanmagazine.in/books/anthropologists-tribes-india
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=12454

“On a very small scale compared to the widely promoted homogenising mega-schools, [alternative schools] respect diversity and are sensitive to the socio-cultural and political context of the children. […] The notion of ‘mainstreaming’ needs to be challenged not just because Adivasi culture is being crushed, but also because Adivasi values and ways of life offer insights that the ‘mainstream’ needs.” – Felix Padel & Malvika Gupta in “Are mega residential schools wiping out India’s Adivasi culture?” (The Hindu, 13 February 2021)
https://www.thehindu.com/society/children-from-tribal-communities-are-being-corralled-into-mass-schools-that-are-wiping-out-cultures/article33818793.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=4429

“The educational establishment has entrenched interests within it for whom the improvement of Adivasi education is not a priority and who may even look down upon them as second-class citizens.” – Amman Madan, Rama Sastry and B Ramdas in “Social Movements and Educational Change: A Case Study of the Adivasi Munnetra Sangam” (The Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 54, Issue No. 5, 02 Feb, 2019, Social Movements and Educational Change)
https://www.epw.in/journal/2019/5/special-articles/social-movements-and-educational-change.html
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=27219

India’s tribal cultural heritage – Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state of the country but has a small tribal population [namely] five major Scheduled Tribes and about 18 other tribal groups. Source: “An analytical study of socio-economic conditions of tribal farmers in Bijnor district … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Cultural heritage, Ecology and environment, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Health and nutrition, Languages and linguistic heritage, Nature and wildlife, Northern region – Northern Zonal Council, Organizations, Regions of India – Tribal heritage & indigenous knowledge, Resources, Success story | Comments Off on India’s tribal cultural heritage – Uttar Pradesh

Video | Marriage customs of the Santals: A large mural created by village artists to express their cultural identity – West Bengal

Marriage Reception A Santal marriage takes five days and involves various, often complex, rituals. On the day of the Gidi-chumara (Marriage Reception) the women arrive to bless the bride and groom with grass and grains of rice which are kept … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Community facilities, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Education and literacy, Literature and bibliographies, Museum collections - India, Music and dance, Names and communities, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Santal Parganas, Santali language and literature, Seasons and festivals, Storytelling, Tagore and rural culture, Tourism, Trees, Video resources - external, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Video | Marriage customs of the Santals: A large mural created by village artists to express their cultural identity – West Bengal

Marlavai Training Centre – model for present day education of tribal people – Andhra Pradesh

Marlavai village in Jainoor mandal of Adilabad district was not this sleepy when Austrian anthropologist Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf was at work during the decade of 1940. He had launched his pioneering experiment in education of tribal people at this village. … Continue reading

Posted in De- and re-tribalisation, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Gandhian social movement, Government of India, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Modernity, Names and communities, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Marlavai Training Centre – model for present day education of tribal people – Andhra Pradesh

Sharing valuable rice varieties with farmers: Biodiversity for the sake of “vital nutrients and the ability to withstand flood, drought, salinity or pest infestations” – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha Maharashtra & West Bengal

IN BRIEF India originally possessed some 110,000 landraces of rice with diverse and valuable properties. These include enrichment in vital nutrients and the ability to withstand flood, drought, salinity or pest infestations. The Green Revolution covered fields with a few … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Biodiversity, Customs, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Ethnobotany and ethnomedicine, Figures, census and other statistics, Health and nutrition, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Resources, Success story, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Sharing valuable rice varieties with farmers: Biodiversity for the sake of “vital nutrients and the ability to withstand flood, drought, salinity or pest infestations” – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha Maharashtra & West Bengal

Tip | Which are India’s endangered languages? (interactive map)

India’s endangered languages “Kolami, Koya, Gondi, Kuvi, Kui, Yerukala, Savara, Parji, Kupia. Do these names ring a bell? No, right? They are all native tribal tongues that have immensely contributed to enrich the language and culture of Telugu people. But … Continue reading

Posted in Education and literacy, Endangered language, FAQ, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, Languages and linguistic heritage, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Press snippets, Resources, Rural poverty, Tips, Tribal identity | Comments Off on Tip | Which are India’s endangered languages? (interactive map)