Category Archives: Women

“The story of an uneducated tribal woman from an economically poor background who went on to head a company with over 1600 shareholders runs parallel to the story of Aadhimalai itself, the farmer producer company that started as a small tribal collective but has bagged this year’s Equator Prize by the United Nations Development Programme. […] Men go for work, but the money hardly reaches the woman in most households. Now she can earn by selling these, and these products don’t go waste in the forest as well.” – 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

“[T]here 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 quoted by S. Rukmini in “Higher sex ratio among tribal, SC groups: census” (The Hindu, 31 October 2013)
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/higher-sex-ratio-among-tribal-sc-groups-census/article5300478.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22068

“Belonging to the Halakki indigenous tribe in Karnataka, Tulasi Gowda grew up in a poor and disadvantaged family. She never received a formal education, and yet, today she is known as the ‘Encyclopedia of the Forest’ [as she] continues to nurture plants and share her vast knowledge with the younger generation to promote the importance of environmental conservation.” – “Meet Padma Shri Tulasi Gowda, the barefoot environmentalist known as ‘Encyclopedia of Forest'” (India Today, 8 November 2021)
https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/padma-shri-tulasi-gowda-barefoot-environmentalist-encyclopedia-of-forest-1874499-2021-11-08
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=2804

“The general trend in the ‘civilized’ perception of tribal nudity alternates between a scathing denunciation and a romantic glorification. By contrast, Mahasweta Devi’s treatment of tribal nudity is deromanticizing. Sometimes, this nakedness becomes a trope of empowerment for the tribal woman, as in her short story ‘Draupadi’. So Draupadi, the victim of multiple rapes, retaliates by remaining publicly naked and thereby intimidates the Senanayak.” – Ivy Imogene Hansdak in “Narrativizing Resistance: Mahasweta Devi’s Representation of the Tribal Guerrilla” (The Johar Journal, Issue 01, July-Dec 2020)
https://joharjournal.org/narrativizing-resistance-mahasweta-devis-representation-of-the-tribal-guerrilla/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=20733

“It’s high time we recognise the contributions of tribal women in Indian literature.” – Devendra Kumar Devesh of Sahitya Akademi on the occasion of a two-day meet organised by Sahitya Akademi in association with Jharkhandi Bhasha Sahitya Sanskriti Akhra to commemorate the birth centenary of Alice Ekka, the country’s first acclaimed woman tribal writer (The Telegraph, Jharkhand, 8 September 2017)
https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170908/jsp/jharkhand/story_171464.jsp
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22856

“Women’s rights are human rights. But in these troubled times, as our world becomes more unpredictable and chaotic, the rights of women and girls are being reduced, restricted and reversed. Empowering women and girls is the only way to protect their rights and make sure they can realize their full potential.” – UN Secretary-General’s Message for International Women’s Day 2017
https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2017/3/statement-sg-international-womens-day-2017
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=21750

The National Human Rights Commission “continued to receive complaints from different parts of the country on a wide range of issues [including] atrocities committed on women and children and other vulnerable sections, communal violence, bonded and child labour.” – Annual Report 2014-2015)
https://www.mha.gov.in/sites/default/files/NHRC_AR_EN_2014-2015_27022019.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=18066

“The Irula Tribal Women’s Welfare Society (ITWWS), established in 1986, is a women’s community-based development organization […] using the Irula tribal knowledge of forest resources for economic prosperity.” – The Times of India (“Irula’s tribal secrets unraveled”, 29 March 2005)
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1064853.cms
Watch a video by Praise Foundation on the manner in which the Irula Tribal Women’s Welfare Society empowers Irula women by promoting their medicinal products: “This revival of traditional healing systems addresses public health needs as well as conserves Irula culture and expertise.”
https://youtu.be/hc1lK1vIKNY
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=16322

“Every village [in Bastar] has its own ‘super-woman’, a plant collector par excellence, in whose house one inevitably finds unusual foods.” – Madhu Ramnath in “Within the world of food collection” (india-seminar.com, Contested Cultures, February 2018)
www.india-seminar.com/2018/702/702_madhu_ramnath.htm
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=24941

“What I wanted to do was to make people, for whom Indian democracy and institutions mean something, think about the places where it fails so utterly and completely, and how their own lives are connected to these other citizens. […] In Bastar, sexual violence has been deployed as a weapon of war. But it has received scant attention in reportage, policy and commentary, so much so that authorities deny it exists.” – Nandini Sundar (Professor of Sociology, Delhi University), interviewed by Chitrangada Choudhury (Livemint, 10 October 2016)
https://www.livemint.com/Leisure/zyfPVZSNYs3suCelqi4vBP/Nandini-Sundar-Militarization-of-the-imagination.html
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=2299

“Tracing the rise of patriarchy to class-based ‘civilisations’ and the diminishing role of women in such societies, Chris Harman, in his book ‘A People’s History of the World’, says in hunter-gatherer societies, there was no male supremacy over women as there was almost always a division of labour between the sexes, with the men doing most of the hunting and the women most of the gathering. […] Today, when most societies consider themselves highly advanced compared with our ‘barbaric’ ancestors, the position of women in society has changed little.” – Cover story “Women in India: A reality check”, Frontline Magazine (January 25, 2013) 
http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/women-in-india-a-reality-check/article4275963.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=18066

“Piplantri has turned almost into an oasis and it is surrounded by a large number of trees. ‘My daughter is seven years now. I have seen these trees and my daughter grow up together. Initially, not all villagers agreed to follow the idea of planting 111 saplings. Now, it’s no less than any ritual in our village,’ said Shantu Bhil, a tribal from Piplantri village. Another resident of Piplantri village said that it was for the first time he decided to bring up his daughter just like a son. Despite being a school teacher he never sent his daughter to a school.” – Abhishek Gaur in “Eco-feminism drive wins accolades” (Deccan Herald, 5 April 2015)
https://www.deccanherald.com/content/469775/eco-feminism-drive-wins-accolades.html
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=19376

Adivasis’ world view: A truly sustainable lifestyle – Comment

Adivasi people: proud not primitive | Read the full article >> […] Defining what’s special about India’s adivasi or indigenous people is complicated. People, mostly anthropologists and human rights defenders, who know adivasis and have worked closely with them, also tend … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adivasi / Adibasi, Anthropology, Assimilation, Commentary, Community facilities, Customs, Ecology and environment, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, History, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Nilgiri, Organizations, Poetry, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Topics and issues, Tourism, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Adivasis’ world view: A truly sustainable lifestyle – Comment

Listen patiently to the tribals, with their immense knowledge and creativity: The key to preserving nature while ending widespread exploitation and stigmatization of women

In contemporary practice, the tribal memory is greatly undermined. There is general insistence that tribal children attend schools where non-tribal children attend schools, that they use medicines manufactured for others and that they adopt common agricultural practices. All because the … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Childhood and children, Cultural heritage, Customs, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Nature and wildlife, Quotes, Resources, Success story, Women | Comments Off on Listen patiently to the tribals, with their immense knowledge and creativity: The key to preserving nature while ending widespread exploitation and stigmatization of women

Quality education and health for children from marginalized families: Vidyodaya & Thulir – Tamil Nadu

Vidyodaya School, located near Gudalur in the Nilgiris, TN, teaches mostly tribal children. […] Vidyodaya is more than just a school. It is a major education programme to ensure that over 3500 tribal children in the Gudalur Block of the … Continue reading

Posted in Community facilities, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Games and leisure time, Globalization, Health and nutrition, Languages and linguistic heritage, Organizations, Quotes, Rural poverty, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Women | Comments Off on Quality education and health for children from marginalized families: Vidyodaya & Thulir – Tamil Nadu

“Indigenous Peoples and Environmental Ethics” – The Kaani of Tamil Nadu and Kerala

By Davidson Sargunam Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups native to a land or region. Usually they have a close relation to the land and live in consonance with nature. They believe that land and people are inseparable and interdependent. It is this aspect of their lifestyle-the intertwining of their … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Community facilities, Customs, Democracy, Ecology and environment, Education and literacy, Government of India, Health and nutrition, Homes and utensils, Modernity, Music and dance, Nature and wildlife, Photos and slideshows, Quotes, Success story, Tribal elders, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on “Indigenous Peoples and Environmental Ethics” – The Kaani of Tamil Nadu and Kerala

Video | Synopsis: “Have you seen the arana?” Documentary by Sunanda Bhat – Kerala

Director: Sunanda Bhat | Producer: Songline FilmsGenre: Documentary | Produced In: 2012 | Story Teller’s Country: India Synopsis: The film interweaves contemporary narratives with an ancient tribal creation myth to explore the effects of a rapidly changing landscape on lives and … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Childhood and children, Commentary, Cultural heritage, Customs, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Film, Health and nutrition, History, Homes and utensils, Media portrayal, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Quotes, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Storytelling, Tourism, Tribal elders, Video resources - external, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Women | Comments Off on Video | Synopsis: “Have you seen the arana?” Documentary by Sunanda Bhat – Kerala