Film and Television Institute of India & Tribal Institute team up: Projecting “the uniqueness of these tribes across the state” – Maharashtra

Rohan Swamy Tags : films, FTII Posted: Fri Apr 30 2010, 00:48 hrs Pune:

In a first-of-its-kind project, the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) has teamed up with Pune-based Tribal Research and Training Institute (TRTI) to make films on tribal communities of the state.

The project was initiated by the TRTI in March last year and two out of 11 films are already nearing completion. “The films will project the uniqueness of these tribes across the state. While the fund for the project is provided by the TRTI, the films will be made by our students,” said project coordinator Milind Damle.
Of the two films that are almost ready, one is based on Ashramshala concept fairly common in tribal areas of the state, wherein those who cannot afford education can stay at these ashrams and avail of the benefits. The other talks about the Kathkari tribe from the Konkan belt of the state.
A K Jha, Commissioner, TRTI, said, “The idea of making films on tribal communities is not new for us. We already have produced over 70 films on various tribes of Maharashtra but we decided to make these films in collaboration with the FTII because we wanted more youngsters, especially filmmakers, to become aware of the issues of the people of these communities.”
Some of the topics that will be taken up in the 20-minute documentaries include importance of tribal rights; their uniqueness, culture, traditions and the importance of letting them co-exist peacefully with nature. Siddarth Sinha, director of the film Ashramshala-A Victory Tale, said, “The film that took us about three months to complete deals with tribal students who cannot afford to study in schools. They have these Ashramshalas, where the students can stay and study as well.”

Source: FTII, Tribal Institute team up to make films on tribes – Indian Express

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Katkari people – Wikipedia

The Katkari are an Indian Hindu community mostly belonging to the state of Maharashtra. They have been categorised as a Scheduled tribe.[1] Other names and spellings include Kathkari, Kathodi and Kathodia.[2][3][4] They are bilingual, speaking the Katkari language, a dialect of the Marathi language with each other and speaking Marathi with the Marathi speakers who are a majority in the populance where they live.[5][nb 1] In Maharashtra the Katkari have been designated a Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG), along with two other groups included in this sub-category: the Madia Gond and the Kolam.[7][8][9] In the case of the Katkari this vulnerability derives from their history as a nomadic, forest-dwelling people listed by the British Raj under the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871,[10] a stigma that continues to this day.


The Katkari were at one time a forest people living in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, with a special relationship to forest creatures such as the tiger or ‘waughmare’, (waugh = tiger, mare = slayer; so tiger slayer) a common Katkari surname.[13] The name Katkari is derived from a forest-based activity – the making and sale of catechu (katha) from the khair tree (Acacia catechu). Weling (1934, 2), drawing on census data from 1901, notes that the Katkari were ‘thickly scattered’ in small communities throughout the hill ranges and forests of Raigad and Thane districts in the present day state of Maharashtra.[10] Some also lived in hill areas in the southern part of the current state of Gujarat, and in the forests of what are now Nasik, Pune and Dhule districts. […]

Present Circumstances

The Katkari of today are a fragmented and very scattered community, highly dependent on others for their livelihoods and for a place to live. Most Katkari are landless workers with only periodic and tenuous connections to their original nomadic, forest-based livelihoods. Many have become bonded labourers working on the brick kilns and charcoal units serving the urban and industrial interests of Greater Mumbai.

Source: Katkari people – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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