Madia and Madia Gond communities – Maharashtra & Chhattisgarh

Learn more about the Madia community, locate it on a map, view a series of photos and watch a series of videos >>

Lalsu Nogoti is an independent elected member of the Zila Parishad in the district of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. He is also the first lawyer from the Madia Gond Adivasi community in that district. A firm voice against large-scale diversion of forest land for numerous mining projects, Nogoti has also been part of several peoples’ movements against the state’s development policies. The focus of his work is on the effective implementation of laws that protect Adivasi rights. […]

The gram sabha has emerged as an important local government body, one that can make laws and rules for the village. The seat of government in Mumbai is not the only government. The local government at the village level also has the same powers – for instance, managing the market and what goods can be sold freely, regulating or curtailing money lending activity and deciding what village-level initiatives are introduced and how their funding is allocated. […]

Apart from challenges in carrying out my work, there are other, more deep-rooted challenges that Adivasis face, chief among them being language. Indian states are divided linguistically – Marathi is spoken in Maharashtra, Gujarati in Gujarat, Bengali in West Bengal. Gondi speaking people have been living in this country from the beginning, but have been scattered across different states, due to which they must learn different state languages.

I am in a ‘Marathi cage’. My mother is in Chhattisgarh, where they have to learn Hindi; she’s in a ‘Hindi cage’. In this way, we are left unable to communicate with each other. Our own language has suffered because of this. Plus, we don’t have a formal organisation or structure. Our community is our area of work. There is no office. Our village – Gotul or local space – is our office. So how can we band together, work together on these cultural and political issues for our people?

Source: “Interview | ‘Adivasi Culture and the Forest Are Linked. PESA Looks After Both'” by Saahil Kejriwal and Rachita Vora, The Wire, 27 March 2019
Date Visited: 4 August 2022

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“The issue is not whether the world’s economy is governable toward ambitious goals like promoting social justice, equality between countries and greater democratic control for the bulk of the world’s people, but whether it is governable at all.” – Mogobe B. Ramose quoting Globalization in question by Hirst, P. and Thompson, G in “Globalization and ubuntu” (The African Philosophy Reader), pp. 732 | Globalization >>


“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)

Residential, Ashram and Factory schools

Backgrounder & image © Economic Times
  • Ekalavya* Residential School Scheme (EMR): a network of boarding schools where tribal children are to be educated in accordance with rules and syllabi provided by the government; such schools are being designated as “Eklavya Model Residential School (EMR)” with the objective of empowering students “to be change agent, beginning in their school, in their homes, in their village and finally in a large context.” – Government Guidelines 2010 | Backup >>
  • Residential School and Ashram School
    In some regions there are similar “Residential Schools” and “Ashram Schools” for tribal children, as in Tripura where they are managed by a society called “Tripura Tribal Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TTWREIS)” – Tribal Welfare Department, Government of Tripura
  • Factory schools “exist to turn tribal and indigenous children – who have their own language and culture – into compliant workers-of-the-future. The world’s largest Factory School stated that it turns ‘Tax consumers into tax payers, liabilities into assets’.” – | Learn more >>

    Up-to-date information about these and related issues: Safe custom search engine >>

* Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya): the name of a legendary archer prodigy “who, being a Nishada [Sanskrit Niṣāda, “tribal, hunter, mountaineer, degraded person, outcast”], had to give his thumb as a fee to the brahmin guru thus terminating his skill as an archer.” – Romila Thapar (“The epic of the Bharatas”) | Read the full paper here | Backup download link (pdf) >>

Note: “Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group” amounts to genocide, which the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention defines as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group” (Article II, d & e)

Learn more about Childrens rights: UNICEF India | Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya), EMR & Factory schools | Rights of Indigenous Peoples >>

Tip: click on any red marker for details on endangered languages in a particular region of India.
Please note: the facts and figures cited (via hyperlinks) links call for updates and fact checking >>
Cultural invisibility – India’s 600 potentially endangered languages | Linguistic Survey of India (official website) >>