Learn more about tribal communities in Madhya Pradesh

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How India compares with the world
Graphic © Outlook India 26 August 2019 | Enlarge >>
“The tribal food basket has always been diverse and nutritious” >>

When it comes to protein and calorie counts, milk and bananas do not match up to eggs, particularly for [Madhya Pradesh], where development indicators are among India’s worst:
Almost 51% of children under five years of age are underweight, and 49% are stunted.

The state has India’s highest infant mortality rate, i.e. the number of deaths of children less than one year of age per 1000 live births.

The state also has India’s third-highest maternal mortality ratio, i.e. the number of registered maternal deaths due to birth- or pregnancy-related complications per 100,000 registered live births.

Here’s how an egg a day might help.

An egg has a protein value of 17.11 gm, which is higher than the required daily protein requirement of 15 gm recommended by the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), a centrally sponsored child-welfare scheme.

Eggs also have a higher kilo calorie count: 210, which is nearly half the daily requirement for a school child, while one cup of milk has 146 kilo calories.

Source: “Why Shivraj Chauhan Should Allow Tribal Children Eggs” by Prachi Salve (www.factchecker.in, 4 June 2015)
URL: https://www.factchecker.in/why-shivraj-chauhan-should-give-schoolchildren-eggs/
Date Visited: 11 May 2021

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

Image © PARI People’s Archive of Rural India reporting on Covid-19 >>
Related posts: how India’s tribal communities cope with the pandemic >>

Covering the human cost of Covid-19
The nationwide Covid-19 lockdown that started on March 25 [2020] has triggered distress for millions of ordinary Indians – stranded migrant workers, farmers, sugarcane cutters, Adivasis, Dalits, sanitation workers, construction labourers, cancer patients staying on city pavements, brick kiln labourers, pastoral nomads, and others. While many are on the brink with no work, income or food, several continue to work amid extremely hazardous conditions | Read about them in these PARI reports from across the country >>

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Podcast | “Indigenous knowledge – built up over centuries – is worth listening to”: The Climate Question – BBC

Download or listen to this episode and earlier ones

Can indigenous knowledge help us fight climate change?

Indigenous people represent only about six percent of the world’s population, but they inhabit around a quarter of the world’s land surface. And they share these regions with a hugely disproportionate array of plant and animal life. According to the UN and the World Bank, about 80 percent of our planet’s biodiversity is on land where indigenous people live.

Global climate policy has however been slow to recognise that indigenous knowledge – built up over centuries – is worth listening to. This is despite the fact that sometimes in very remote areas, where scientific and meteorological data is lacking, this knowledge may be all there is. Indigenous knowledge can provide valuable insight into what adaptations have worked in the past, and so provide an important guide to the future.

What are the barriers to bringing indigenous knowledge out from the margins of climate research and policy, and can they be overcome?

Nancy Kacungira, journalist, BBC Africa
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, environmental activist and member of Chad’s pastoralist Mbororo people and Earthshot Prize Council
Nigel Crawhall, chief of section, local and indigenous knowledge systems, UNESCO
Aida Sanchez, assistant professor at Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Presenters: Neal Razzell and Graihagh Jackson
Producer: Darin Graham
Researcher: Zoe Gelber
Editor: Emma Rippon

Source: BBC Worldservice
URL: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3ct2dqf
Date visited: 10 May 2021

“Extinction: Urgent change needed to save species, says UN”
Watch the video on BBC News | More about Biodiversity in India >>

“If we take action, the right action – as the report [on Biological Diversity] proposes – we can transition to a sustainable planet.” […] Many good things are happening around the world and these should be celebrated and encouraged […] We have to act now. It is not too late. Otherwise, our children and grandchildren will curse us because we will leave behind a polluted, degraded and unhealthy planet.” – Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive secretary, UN Convention on Biological Diversity

“Extinction: Urgent change needed to save species, says UN”
BBC News, 15 September 2020 >>

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Posted in Adverse inclusion, Audio resources - external, Biodiversity, Customs, Figures, census and other statistics, Nature and wildlife, Networking, Organizations, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Tribal elders | Comments Off on Podcast | “Indigenous knowledge – built up over centuries – is worth listening to”: The Climate Question – BBC

“Diversity enriches”: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development (21 May) – Unesco


Held every year on 21 May, the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development celebrates not only the richness of the world’s cultures, but also the essential role of intercultural dialogue for achieving peace and sustainable development. The United Nations General Assembly first declared this World Day in 2002, following UNESCO’s adoption of the 2001 Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, recognizing the need to “enhance the potential of culture as a means of achieving prosperity, sustainable development and global peaceful coexistence.” […]

It represents an opportunity to celebrate culture’s manifold forms, from the tangible and intangible, to creative industries, to the diversity of cultural expressions, and to reflect on how these contribute to dialogue, mutual understanding, and the social, environmental and economic vectors of sustainable development.

All are invited to join in, and promote the values of cultural diversity, dialogue and development across our globe. | Learn more >>

Source: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Date accessed: 13 April 2021
Address: https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/culturaldiversityday

Tip | Find reliable resources on tribal welfare and education on the websites of Unesco, Unicef and other NGOs

Type “Unicef Indian tribe heritage”, “Unesco indigenous people”  or similar search terms in the search window seen below

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List of websites covered by the present Custom search engine

  1. Action for Community Organisation, Rehabilitation and Development (ACCORD) – https://www.accordweb.in
  2. Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) – www.atree.org
  3. Freedom United – www.freedomunited.org
  4. Government of India (all websites ending on “.gov.in”)
  5. Shodhganga (a reservoir of Indian theses) – https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in
  6. Survival International – www.survivalinternational.org
  7. Unesco – https://en.unesco.org
  8. Unicef – www.unicef.org
  9. United Nations – www.un.org/en
  10. Video Volunteers – www.videovolunteers.org

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Posted in Community facilities, Cultural heritage, Democracy, Education and literacy, Globalization, Modernity, Organizations, Quotes, Resources, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Seasons and festivals, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity, Video resources - external | Comments Off on “Diversity enriches”: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development (21 May) – Unesco

Pulayar community – Kerala, Karnataka & Tamil Nadu

The Pulayar, also Pulaya, or Pulayas or Holeya or Cheramar, are one of the main social groups found in Kerala, Karnataka and in historical Tamil Nadu or Tamilakam


Their marriage rituals were described by Edgar Thurston. Nowadays many of these customs have fallen into disuse. Traditionally women of this caste are more independent compared to the women of other caste. The spiritual life of the Pulaya includes certain ancient magic rituals and practices that have a certain reputation. Members of the mainstream community may consult Pulaya sorcerers (Manthrikavadi) in Kerala, for advice.

Pulayas are noted for their music, craftsmanship, and for certain dances which include Kōlam-thullal, a mask dance which is part of their exorcism rituals, as well as the Mudi-āttam or hair-dance which has its origins in a fertility ritual. […]

Source: Pulayar – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Address : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulayar
Date Visited: Tue Oct 30 2012 17:56:54 GMT+0100 (CET)

Learn more about the Pulayar community >>

“Tribal men and women mix freely, but with respect for each other [but] caste Hindu society in India is so convinced of its own superiority that it never stops to consider the nature of social organisation among tribal people. In fact it is one of the signs of the ‘educated’ barbarian of today that he cannot appreciate the qualities of people in any way different from himself – in looks or clothes, customs or rituals.” – Guest Column in India Today >>

Image © The Hindu for “The Adivasi in the mirror: The lynching of Madhu in Kerala must shock our conscience into recognising the dispossession of India’s tribals” by Nissim Mannathukkaren >>

Casteism is the investment in keeping the hierarchy as it is in order to maintain your own ranking, advantage, privilege, or to elevate yourself above others or keep others beneath you …. For this reason, many people—including those we might see as good and kind people—could be casteist, meaning invested in keeping the hierarchy as it is or content to do nothing to change it, but not racist in the classical sense, not active and openly hateful of this or that group.” | Learn more about India’s caste system and the effects of “casteism” on tribal communities >>

“The notion of ‘mainstreaming’ needs to be challenged not just because Adivasi culture is being crushed, but also because Adivasi values and ways of life offer insights that the ‘mainstream’ needs. If we are to halt the destruction of ecosystems, we need to understand how closely biodiversity and cultural diversity are intertwined. Perhaps it is time to reverse the gaze and begin to learn afresh from Adivasis.” – Felix Padel & Malvika Gupta in “Are mega residential schools wiping out India’s Adivasi culture?” (The Hindu, 13 February 2021) | More about the role of tribal communities in preserving India’s biodiversity and ethnobotany >>

See also


Find publications by “Edgar Thurston” or any of the above mentioned communities in the WorldCat.org search field seen below


Search for an item in libraries near you:
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Learn more by typing “Pulayar [Cheramar, Holeya] tribal community”, “tribal knowledge systems”, “tribal marriage custom Kerala”, “tribal crafts Karnataka [Kerala]” or similar search terms into the search window below

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Posted in Assimilation, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Names and communities, Performing arts, Quotes, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Worship and rituals | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Pulayar community – Kerala, Karnataka & Tamil Nadu

Tagore’s Santiniketan, “an Abode of Learning Unlike Any in the World” – West Bengal


Sanchari Pal, The Better India, August 31, 2016 | To read the full story and view more photos in high resolution, click here >>

Located about 158 km northwest of Kolkata in Bengal’s rural hinterland, Santiniketan embodies Rabindranath Tagore’s vision of a place of learning that is unfettered by religious and regional barriers. Established in 1863 with the aim of helping education go beyond the confines of the classroom, Santiniketan grew into the Visva Bharati University in 1921, attracting some of the most creative minds in the country. […]

As one of the earliest educators to think in terms of the global village, he envisioned an education that was deeply rooted in one’s immediate surroundings but connected to the cultures of the wider world.

With this in mind, on December 22, 1901, Rabindranath Tagore established an experimental school at Santiniketan with five students (including his eldest son) and an equal number of teachers. He originally named it Brahmacharya Ashram, in the tradition of ancient forest hermitages called tapoban.
Rabindranath Tagore and Students, Santiniketan, 1929.

The guiding principle of this little school is best described in Tagore’s own words, “The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.” […]

Tagore wanted his students to feel free despite being in the formal learning environment of a school, because he himself had dropped out of school when he found himself unable to think and felt claustrophobic within the four walls of a classroom. […]

Flexible class schedules allowed for shifts in the weather and the seasonal festivals Tagore created for the children.

In an attempt to help with rural reconstruction, Tagore also sought to expand the school’s relationship with the neighbouring villages of the Santhal tribal community. Thanks to his efforts, Santiniketan has today become the largest centre for educated Santhals in West-Bengal. Many of them have become teachers, several serving in Visva Bharati itself, while others have become social workers.

Santiniketan can be credited with taking the first path breaking steps in the field of education at a time when the country was slowly getting hitched to the European mode of education (textual and exam oriented knowledge imparted in closed classrooms).

Other than a humane and environment friendly educational system that aimed at overall development of the personality, Santiniketan also offered one of the earliest co-educational programmes in South Asia. […]

Tagore was one of the first to support and bring together different forms of arts at Santiniketan. He invited artists and scholars from other parts of India and all over the world to live together at Santiniketan on a daily basis and share their cultures with the students of Visva Bharati. He once wrote:
“Without music and the fine arts, a nation lacks its highest means of national self-expression and the people remain inarticulate.” […]

The grand Poush Utsav is celebrated on the Foundation Day of the University, while the colourful Basant Utsav is celebrated on the occasion of Holi. The Nandan Mela, which was originally started to raise money for a poor student who needed money for treatment, is today an event where university students display and sell their art. Other events like the Sarodotsav (Autumn Festival), Maghotsav (Founding Day of the Sriniketan campus) and Brikhsharopan Utsav (Tree Planting Festival) are also celebrated with great pomp and fervour.
On all these occasions, the entire campus has a festive atmosphere, with baul (traditional wandering minstrels of Bengal) songs, tribal dances, and other cultural performances being organised throughout the township. […]

Thanks to Tagore’s legacy, Santiniketan has managed to preserve Bengal’s fast-disappearing rural crafts culture through folk markets, like the weekly Bondangaar Haat, and rural co-operatives, like Amar Kutir. […]


This ground-breaking outlook is also the reason why Santiniketan has given India many luminaries like pioneering painter Nandalal Bose, famous sculptor Ramkinkar Baij, Nobel-winning economist Amartya Sen, globally renowned filmmaker Satyajit Ray, and the country’s leading art historian R. Siva Kumar. The University also has several eminent international alumni that include Indonesian painter Affandi, Italian Asianist Giuseppe Tucci, Chinese historian Tan Chung, eminent Indologist Moriz Winternitz, and Sri Lankan artist Harold Peiris, among many others. Pouring his creative genius into his work, Tagore himself produced some of his best literary works, paintings and sketches at Santiniketan. Over the years, Santiniketan has adapted to the changing times. But the essence of the place is still what Tagore wanted it to be.

The Nobel Laureate’s life, philosophy and literary works find their greatest reflection in Santiniketan, where classes are still taught in the open, where nature and its seasons are still celebrated instead of religious festivals, where the graduation ceremony is marked by the gifting of a chhatim leaf, and where education is rooted in Tagore’s philosophy that “the whole world can find a nest.” […]

How to reach Santiniketan
The distance from Kolkata to Santiniketan is about 182 km. Santiniketan is well connected to Kolkata via road and rail.
By Rail: The nearest station is Bolpur. Take the Visva-Bharati Fast Passenger or Rampurhat Express from Howrah to reach Bolpur within 2.5 hours.
By Road: If you follow the Durgapur Expressway, it takes approximately 4 hours to reach Santiniketan. Buses to Bolpur are available from Esplanade bus terminal in Kolkata […]

Source: Exploring Tagore’s Santiniketan, a Unique Abode of Learning
Address: https://www.thebetterindia.com/66627/santiniketan-rabindranath-tagore-bengal/
Date Visited: Wed Dec 14 2016 13:28:16 GMT+0100 (CET)

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

Source: “Tagore, Gitanjali and the Nobel Prize” by Nilanjan Banerjee in
India Perspectives (24 No. 2/2010) | More about Tagore and rural education >>
Freedom: Accountability, Democracy, Education & Rights of Indigenous Peoples >>

Posted in Childhood and children, Community facilities, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Globalization, History, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Performing arts, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Revival of traditions, Seasons and festivals, Social conventions, Success story, Tagore and rural culture | Tagged | Comments Off on Tagore’s Santiniketan, “an Abode of Learning Unlike Any in the World” – West Bengal