Video | Deepor Beel: A wetland protected by Karbi customs or rituals that give importance to the environment – Assam

Ministry of Culture Govt. of India

Deepor Beel is a wetland situated in Assam inhabited mostly by tribal people along with their distinct folklore and practices. One thousand and two hundred families of 14 indigenous villages around Deepor Beel depend directly or indirectly on the wetland’s natural resources for their livelihood. The main inhabitants around the Deepor Beel site are the Karbi communities whose only hope is the natural environment because of their economic condition and belief associated with the later. Various customs and rituals such as Johong puja and various other musical lore of the people always help in recollecting the beauty and importance of the environment including the wetland. In addition to fishing, the major economic activity, other traditional activities like grazing, farming, gathering of various minor products generate some income to sustain their livelihood. Community fishing is an important characteristic of folk-life of people around Deepor Beel. The plain Karbi people give importance to environment in every aspects, be it tradition, culture, customs or rituals. They always try to protect their environment from all hazards and because of that they worship their main deity Johong (Lord Shiva) and Goddess Bhagawati (Parvati).

Source: National List for Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), Ministry of Culture, Government of India
Date visited: 5 October 2020

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Learn from M S Swaminathan – a world renowned scientist – how biological diversity contributes to public health, people’s livelihood and environmental security in addition to food security: his call on fellow citizens to use and share resources in a more sustainable and equitable manner; outlining the long journey from the 1992 Earth Summit to a commitment to foster inherited knowledge through India’s Biodiversity Act and Genome Saviour Award; an award intended to reward those who are “primary conservers” – guardians of biological diversity!

More about the work of his foundation which “aims to accelerate use of modern science and technology for agricultural and rural development to improve lives and livelihoods of communities.” – | Regarding the issues of food security raised above, and the nutritional value of indigenous grains, seeds and millets, read an in-depth report that concludes that “the tribal food basket has always been ­diverse and nutritious” >>

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Secretary, Tribal Cultural Heritage in India Foundation (2010-2022)
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