Determined pursue higher studies at any cost: Sugali tribal children of Nallamalla forests – Andhra Pradesh

Sugali tribal children of inaccessible Palutla village in the Nallamalla forests are a determined lot — to pursue higher studies at any cost.

It is only by helicopter polling officials reach this place once in five years and politicians in general prefer to skip canvassing for votes in the village with a population of 1,100 people as there is no guarantee of returning by the unmotorable road from Yerragondapalem.

These students trek the whole day through the dense forests in groups, unmindful of threat from wild animals, including big cats and bears. It takes about 12 hours to reach Chinarutla for onward journey by bus to tribal welfare hostels in Prakasam and other districts. […]

Ragunatha Naik, who has completed B.Tech from JNTU Kakinada and now preparing for the Indian Engineering Services after a brief stint with an infrastructure major in Bangalore, is the main source of inspiration now for the tribal students in the village to make a mark in studies.

“We cannot expect politicians or bureaucrats to improve our village. We want to come up in life by pursuing higher education and return to our village to ensure all-round development,” Mr. Ragunatha Naik says. “Two of my fellow students from the village are pursuing research in Central universities, he adds.

Ninteen-year-old Bali Bai, one of the eight siblings studying B.Sc says “Each one of us aims to study well and come up in life. We will return and improve the lives of fellow tribal persons.”

“Our parents encourage both boys and girls equally to pursue higher education,” adds 14-year-old Gayathri Bhai.

K Potharaju, the lone teacher in the Ashrama Patashala in the village, is the main motivator for these students.

So also are the students’ parents, who are into agriculture and are economically in a better position compared to the Chenchu tribals who also inhabit the Nallamalla forests.

Source: The Hindu : Today’s Paper / NATIONAL : Tribal students a determined lot
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Date Visited: 11 August 2021

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“The smart boy or clever girl who is deprived of the opportunity of schooling, or who goes to a school with dismal facilities (not to mention the high incidence of absentee teachers), not only loses the opportunities he or she could have had, but also adds to the massive waste of talent that is a characteristic of the life of our country.” – Nobel Awardee Amartya Sen in The Argumentative Indian (Penguin Books, 2005), p. 344

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Photo and video recommendation: a voice from rural India worth being heard

Whether you plan a visit or seek to learn more about India’s rural life – perhaps inspired by the Gandhian social movement or Rabindranath Tagore – explore “a living journal, a breathing archive” in the Adivasi category of PARI: the People’s Archive of Rural India initiated by distinguished photo journalist-turned-activist P. Sainath, continually enriched by stories from all over India.

“In less than 200 years, photography has gone from an expensive, complex process to an ordinary part of everyday life. From selfies to satellites, most of the technology we use and spaces we inhabit rely on cameras. […] While photographic documentation can aid in shaping history, it can also be a window into the horrors of the past.” – Read more or listen to Butterfly Effect 9 – The Camera on CBC Radio Spark 26 May 2023 >>

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See also

Adverse inclusion | Casteism | Rural poverty


Crafts and visual arts

Demographic Status of Scheduled Tribe Population of India (Census figures 2011)

Denotified Tribes, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes – Report and Recommendations (Technical Advisory Group)

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Search tips | Names of tribal communities, regions and states of India

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“What are the Rights of Scheduled Tribes? – Government of India (National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, NCST)

“What is the Forest Rights Act about?” – Campaign for Survival and Dignity

“Who are Scheduled Tribes?” – Government of India (National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, NCST)

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