Video | Creating stronger ties between the students, the school, and members of the Halakki: A people who grow ‘milky white rice’ – Karnataka

Here is a presentation on a school project that employed artists, local arts and cultural practices, and community knowledge systems to enhance arts education for its students.

The Malenadu Educational and Rural Development Society (MEARDS), a registered, not-for-profit organisation working in the Uttar Kannada district of Karnataka, received a grant from IFA in 2018. This grant was made for a year-long engagement with students and staff of Chandana English Medium School. The project brought together the Halakki community and the school to create stronger ties between the students, the school, and community members. Halakki Vokkaligas are among the prominent tribes of the state and are often considered the original residents. Under the guidance of Sukri Bommanagowda, an elder of the Halakki Vokkaliga community who is one of the custodians of their tradition, students were able to connect with and learn from the community through a series of activities such as documenting, discussions, field trips, and interviews.

Lakshmi Bhat has been a Senior Librarian at Chandana School with over ten years of experience. She also serves as Director of the Karnataka Balavikasa Academy.

Pushpa Bhat is a trained Hindustani Classical singer who has been serving as a music teacher at Chandana School for over ten years.

The Malenadu Educational and Rural Development Society received a grant from IFA under its Arts Education programme, made possible with support from Citi India.

Source: Video channel of the India Foundation for the Arts >>

IFA Project Showcase >>

With the implementation of arts education in schools as envisaged by the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005, IFA’s attempt has been to raise the standard of arts education and support it through multiple strategies like grants, trainings and exposures. In addition to grant to teachers and artists, our decision to make grants to schools came from the realisations that this would provide opportunities for the entire school to integrate their arts education programme, bring the various stakeholders together, and connect local arts and cultural practices and community knowledge systems to classroom pedagogies. This would build a knowledge-network between the school and the environment in which it exists.

This pilot grant has been made to Chandana English Medium School run by The Malenadu Educational and Rural Development Society, Narebailu, Uttara Kannada district. This grant will enable year-long activities with the school as the anchor, bringing together artists, the community and other civic groups to establish and enhance arts education for students. The school is nestled in the midst of nature in Narebailu a village near Sirsi in Uttara Kannada district. Students come by the school bus every day from Yellapur, Sirsi, Mundagodu, Siddapura, and Soraba taluks and have a mix of urban and rural backgrounds. The school believes in child-centred teaching and storytelling, puppetry, games and music are often used.

Halakki Vokkaligas are among the prominent tribes of the state and often considered the original residents. Halakki is a combination of two words in Kannada haalu meaning milk, and akki meaning rice. Vokkalu means agriculturist. So Halakki Vokkaligas are people who grow ‘milky white rice’. The tribe has a rich lineage of cultural practices notably music. Having survived over the centuries bearing the tradition of their ancestors, the older generation, especially its womenfolk, is now wondering how to continue their legacy.

The year-long project at the school titled Halliya Vividha Mukhagalu (Different Faces of the Village) aims to bring together the Halakki community and the school. The aim of the project is to understand the relationships between the school and the community and how to leverage these to enhance student learning. […]

This project will focus on learning through Sukri ajji and the community members the various cultural and traditional practices of the Halakkis. […]

Source: “The Malenadu Educational and Rural Development Society”, India Foundation for the Arts
Date Visited: 5 December 2021

Learn more: projects supported by the India Foundation for the Arts >>

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

“We shall first have to give up this hubris of considering tribes backward. Every tribe has a rich and living cultural tradition and we must respect them.”

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on India’s Constitutional obligation to respect their cultural traditions
Gandhiji at Prayer Time, Parnakuti, Poona (1944) by Chittaprosad, the great advocate of the rights of workers and revolutionary artists. | Learn more in “Gandhi, Secularism, and Cultural Democracy” by Vinay Lal >>
Gandhian social movement | Constitution >>

“Air is free to all but if it is polluted it harms our health… Next comes water… From now on we must take up the effort to secure water. Councillors are servants of the people and we have a right to question them.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi, Ahmedabad address on 1 January 1918; quoted by his grandson, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, in “On another New Year’s Day: Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘khorak’ a 100 years ago” (The Hindu, 1 January 2018)

For information of special interest
1. combine the name of this region with “tribal heritage” and related keywords when using the search window seen below
2. explore the map for related posts

Find up-to-date information provided by, for and about Indian authors, researchers, officials, and educatorsMore search options >>
Search tips: in the search field seen here, type the name of any tribal (Adivasi) community, region, state or language; add keywords of special interest (childhood, language, sacred grove, tribal education, women); consider rights to which Scheduled Tribes are entitled (FRA Forest Rights Act, protection from illegal mining, UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, right to education, Universal Declaration of Human Rights); specify any other issue or news item you want to learn more about (biodiversity, climate change, ecology, economic development, ethnobotany, ethnomedicine, global warming, health, nutrition and malnutrition, rural poverty)

For a list of websites included in a single search, click here. To search Indian periodicals, magazines, web portals and other sources safely, click here. To find an Indian PhD thesis on a particular tribal community, region and related issues, click here >>

There are over 700 tribes (with overlapping communities in more than one State) which have been notified under Article 342 of the Constitution of India, spread over different States and Union Territories of the country. The largest number of main tribal communities (62) has been specified in relation to the State of Orissa. The Scheduled Tribes have been specified in relation to all the States and Union Territories except Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Delhi, and Pondicherry.

Source: National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, Government of India (Ministry of Tribal Affairs), FAQ accessed on 14 September 2021 | Women in India: A reality check >>

Up-to-date information on India’s Zonal Cultural Centers | Government website

Tips for using interactive maps

  1. toggle to normal view (from reader view) should the interactive map not be displayed by your tablet, smartphone or pc browser
  2. for details and hyperlinks click on the rectangular button (left on the map’s header)
  3. scroll and click on one of the markers for information of special interest
  4. explore India’s tribal cultural heritage with the help of another interactive map >>

Related posts

About website administrator

Secretary, Tribal Cultural Heritage in India Foundation (2010-2022)
This entry was posted in Childhood, Community facilities, Cultural heritage, Education and literacy, Games and leisure time, Music and dance, Nature and wildlife, Networking, Organizations, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Storytelling, Success story, Tribal elders, Video resources - external, Women and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.