A vacation school for Adivasi youths: Understanding tribal values and rights, gender issues and man’s interaction with nature – Kerala

By Express News Service, 23rd April 2016

KOCHI: A four-day Adivasi Students’ Camp that came to a close in Aluva on Friday reaffirmed the importance of the tribal way of life and the values they hold dear.

The camp, organised by the Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha (AGM) at Mangalappuzha in Aluva, had commenced on Tuesday.

It was conceptualised as a vacation school, incorporating group discussions, cultural integration sessions, career guidance sessions, awareness classes and theatre workshops.

Students from various adivasi settlements in the State studying in Class-X to degree courses participated in the camp.

At the camp, classes were held on various topics, including tribal rights; nature and man’s interaction with it; awareness on humanities; history of tribal struggles and gender issues.

“The camp was organised with the aim of sensitising the new generation of adivasis on the simplicity of tribal lifestyle,” said AGM leader M Geethanandan.

Source: Adivasi Youths Sensitised on Tribal Life and Values – The New Indian Express
Address: http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/kochi/Adivasi-Youths-Sensitised-on-Tribal-Life-and-Values/2016/04/23/article3395042.ece
Date Visited: Sun May 15 2016 19:42:16 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Learn ore about the Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha (AGM)

R. Krishnakumar, Frontline Magazine, Thiruvananthapuram 13 October 2001

The year 1975 once seemed a crucial one for the marginalised tribal people of the State. Although they did not have a powerful presence in the State, their plight had struck a chord and they had found themselves being offered the protection of a law that promised to end exploitation by non-tribal settlers and forest encroachers, and lack of livelihoods.

In April 1975, the State Assembly unanimously adopted the Kerala Scheduled Tribes (Restriction on Transfer of Lands and Restoration of Alienated Lands) Act, which sought to prevent the lands of the tribal people from falling into the hands of non-tribal people. The Act also sought to restore to the tribal people their previously alienated lands.

The tribal people were once in possession of large tracts of forests in the State, especially in areas that are now in Palakkad, Wayanad, Idukki, Pathanam-thitta, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts. To a large extent, post-Independence governments were responsible for the Adivasis losing their lands. Non-tribal settlers made their plight worse as the pressure on land increased in the plains. The land-people ratio is very high in the State.

In the majority of cases, the ignorance and innocence of the Adivasis were used to the hilt by the non-tribal settler “farmers”. Either by using force or inducements such as a bundle of tobacco, or by offering a low price, they made the Adivasis part with their “ancestral land”. In most cases there was no document validating such transfers and some tribal persons were even forced to sign on blank sheets of paper. The non-tribal people who got possession of the lands gradually became the virtual owners.

Over the years, alienation from their land of birth pushed the Adivasis into poverty and dependence and forced them to search for other forest land for food and shelter. […]

As a show of strength and as part of an attempt to evolve a consensus regarding their demands among the various tribes and organisations, it organised an ‘Adivasi Gothra Sabha’ (‘Adivasi Parliament’) in Thiruvananthapuram on October 3. […]

Kerala’s Adivasis are not fighting the settler farmers any longer. However, the question whether there are vested interests behind the Adivasi agitation is overshadowed by another one – whether the shift in demand will genuinely help the tribal people’s cause.

Source: The Adivasi struggle
Address: http://www.frontline.in/static/html/fl1821/18210490.htm
Date Visited: Sun May 15 2016 19:53:05 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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