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Tribal Populations in India  Over one hundred million Indians belong to the indigenous communities known as adivasis or tribals.  Today tribals constitute.

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Presentation on theme: "Tribal Populations in India  Over one hundred million Indians belong to the indigenous communities known as adivasis or tribals.  Today tribals constitute."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tribal Populations in India  Over one hundred million Indians belong to the indigenous communities known as adivasis or tribals.  Today tribals constitute 7.5 per cent of the India’s population.  Most of the tribal communities live in the central part of India, stretching from west to east and some others live in the northeastern parts of India.  Tribals have a rich tradition of folklore, ecology, agriculture, healthcare, art forms and craft styles of their regions.  Yet tribals remain marginalized and ignored by urban public and national policy makers.

2 Founder and Patrons of Bhasha Bhasha was founded in mid-1990s by Sahitya Academy winner Prof. Ganesh Devy, who gave up teaching English at The MS University of Baroda. He was inspired by Jnanpith and Magsaysay winner Mahashweta Devi, who has written over a hundred novels and devoted a lifetime to the cause of tribal people and other historically disadvantaged groups. They are also involved with DNT-RAG (Denotified and NomadicTribes- Rights Action Group, founded in March 1998 after the brutal killing of a tribal, Budhan Sabar, in police custody in West Bengal. Today DNT-RAG is a local, national and international forum for work at many levels protecting the interests of nomadic tribes.

3 Mission Statement Bhasha  To discover, publish and promote the linguistic, literary and artistic heritage of tribal communities in India.  To create awareness among citizens for preservation of tribal art, culture and practices.  To establish an national level Tribal Academy of formal instruction for the promotion and conservation of tribal languages, literature, arts and culture.  To make the Adivasis self-reliant by nurturing social and cultural change from within the community

4 What are Denotified Tribes?  In 1871, the British Government of India "notified" certain tribes as "criminals“ or ‘habitual offenders’, as they were nomadic cattle grazers and wandering performers, and the British argued only criminals would do this.  New areas and new communities were included during 1871-1944.  In 1952, Government of India officially "denotified" the tribes.  Yet, from 1961, Government of India publishes state-wise lists of "Denotified and Nomadic Tribes." These lists are used by the police in criminal cases.  Worst of all, even India's other tribals treat denotified tribes as "expendable“.

5 Bhasha Activities - Literary The Bhasha Tribal Academy at Tejgarh awards  Post Graduate Diploma in Tribal Studies since 2000  M.Phil and Ph.D since 2003  Publications for awakening among the tribal communities such as the periodical ‘Dhol’ in 11 languages ( Rathwi, Dungri Bhili, Panchmahali Bhili, Gor Banjara, Bhantu, Dehwali, Pawri, Kukna, Choudhari, Ahirani and Marathi; some of these had no scripts previously )

6 Development Service Centers  Bhasha establishes DSCs to act as a nucleus of change for a village  Each center covers 30 villages, and is run by Academy graduates. It runs  Food Grain Banks with 2800 women members  Traditional Crafts cooperatives, Self Help Groups  Health Care and Livelihood training (fruit cultivation)  Non-formal schools for Adivasi children

7 Vacha Vacha is not just a display museum at the Tejgadh Academy. It is the resource centre of tribal voice or all marginalized communities.  Vacha, will use a good mix of digital imagery related to life- styles, cultural histories, bio-contexts, agro-practices, emotional complexes, attitudes, perceptions.  Recordings of testimonies, stories, memories, oral and local histories, songs and speech varieties.

8 Bhasha’s Achievements in 2003  Indian Tribal Cultural Centre as the Adivasi Artists Co-operative.  Samas : Space for Creativity and Culture established as a dissemination point for Bhasha Publications.  Seven Vikas Sewa Kendras or Development Services Centres established for community work in adivasi villages.  Research in Sickle Cell Anaemia Research ( with Reliance Life Sciences Division ).  Micro-Enterprise Training (with support from The Ford Foundation).  Recognition for Adivasi Academy as an autonomous research center for M.Phil./Ph.D. degree courses by the Mahatma Gandhi Antarrasthriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya,.  Recognition of Bhasha’s community work by the National Planning Commission of India.  Budhan Theatre Group established in Chharanagar, Ahmedabad.

9 How can you help? Since 2002, AID has raised over $10,000 for Bhasha. This year AID is committed to raise $30,000 this year to preserve the rich culture and traditional heritage of India.  Contribute at www.aidindia.org. Write to Sarah Boltwala in San Diego (sandiego@aidindia.org).  Subscribe to ‘Budhan’, published quarterly to bring justice to the wrongly accused, bring health care and education to tribal communities : bhasha@bnpl.net bhasha@bnpl.net  Visit Bhasha during your next trip to India. Contact 6 United Avenue, Near Dinesh Mills, Vadodara 390007.


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