India has the largest tribal (adivasi) groups in the world with a population of 8.43 crore which is 8.2% of the total population of more than 100 crores. They are spread over the long corridor of western, central, and eastern states of India.
The highest concentration of them are in the states of Bihar, Jharhand, West-Bengal, Orissa, Chattisgarh and Assam. Beyond the Indian borders they are also found in Bangla Desh, Nepal and other places in sizeable numbers.
Origin of idea;
With changing time and globalization the educated and non educated Tribal are migrating to towns and metropolitan cities for better job opportunities and prosperity. They are forgetting their culture, tradition and language in the new environments. The new generations of tribal people left in the villages are also not able to carry on their customs and traditions due to disintegration of traditional village tribal systems and expertise.
With such unfolding situations, serious concerned were expressed by senior community leaders, academicians, tribal intelligentsia, supporters and well wishers of tribal welfare and development.
Why do we need such centres?
Jharkhand is primarily a tribal state with the tribal population of 70, 89068 which is 27% of the total population of 2.69 crores and the Santal tribe constitutes the main tribal group. The state was formed in 2000 to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of tribal people and further their interests. The tribal people have long history of customs, traditions and rich cultural heritage and language. This is however not being preserved and promoted in Jharkhand but neglected.
It is this acute shortage of cultural preservation and promotional activities that the TRIBAL CULRURAL AND HERITAGE CENTRES aim to address.
Need for Tribal Cultural and Heritage centres are outlined below;
The tribal people have rich traditions, cultures and heritage with unique life styles and customs. Till date, it is not being preserved. There is no authentic documentation of the traditional tribal lives, history and cultural heritage in India. At present there is no centre of excellence or one stop information centre which holistically deals with the tribal folklores, customs and traditions and its application for promoting endogenous development.
As tribal lifestyle modernizes, there is potential threat for the long held traditions and tribal identity to be lost in these changing times. The younger generation among the tribes are drifting towards modernization and effort should be made to reinforce the tradition and cultural heritage of the tribes. Traditional values should not be lost in the maddening rush of modernization. At present, there is no common place or institutional facilities in towns and cities for get together and conducting social and cultural events for the tribal people.
As we step forward into the twenty first century, there is a need to preserve and promote these traditions before they are lost. There are so many noble cultural, social, environmental and health practices among the tribes. They have rich cultural traditions transmitted orally. For instance, the culture of preserving forest in SARNA(Sacred Grove) is still in practice, which has greater environmental value. Similarly, many herbal and traditional health practices have greater scientific relevance in modern time. Erosion of cultural heritage and tradition of tribal people is a big loss for the country and future generation will be deprived of their heritage, artifacts, history and knowledge.
We are now living in the era of knowledge and research based economy and society. Preserving indigenous wisdom and wealth of traditional knowledge is well recognized resources.
There are many myths and misconceptions about tribes among non-tribes due to lack of understanding of the tribal heritage. Conservation of traditions and values of the tribes will promote greater understanding among non-tribes. Currently, tribal development is a key agenda for government, bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental agencies. Culture centred approach to development is a new and emerging area of interest and intervention. In the context of 11th Five Year Plan and new development practices linking tribal development, a cultural and heritage centres will be of use to all the players and actors interested in culture centric tribal development.
VISION OF THE TRIBAL CULTURAL AND HERITAGE CENTRES -
Promote the cultural and rich heritage of tribal people for human enrichment/development of the present and future generations.
MISSION OF THE TRIBAL CULTURAL AND HERITAGE CENTRES -
Use the tribal cultural and traditional knowledge and wisdom for improving the quality of life and finding solutions to human problems.
WHAT DO WE INTEND TO DO THROUGH THESE CENTRES?
To develop such centres for demonstrating the traditional wisdom, folk media, folklore and best practices for the benefit of the local communities in India and other countries. Promote inter-tribal cultural knowledge and exchange within and outside India. Provide them with wide ranging information from a variety of sources; visual representation of tribal arts, crafts, dance, folk music and way of life, oral recitations and other research and reference materials for the cross fertilization of ideas. To find solutions for combating social problems, environmental hardships and livelihood issues with the use of the wisdom and vast experience gained over the centuries. Provide facilities for seminars, exhibitions and social and community activities to create better understanding amongst the communities and a communal harmony. Set up training and resource facilities for providing and promoting tribal cultural heritage and for tribal development. Digitize tribal knowledge, traditions, best practices, values, media and artifacts for the benefit of others.
KEY STATEGIES TO ACHIEVE THE MISSION -
Need infrastructure to run a cultural heritage centre. Initiate cultural heritage preservation of tribal people. Promote the heritage knowledge for solving human problems.
CORE ACTIVITIES TO ACHIEVE THE MISSION -
Need a pleasant and welcoming multiplex with the dual function of providing communal facilities for all people to use and enjoy, as well as being a centre for awareness of tribal cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and wisdom. This centre will consist of;
Main conference hall (social and festival) with a round central stage and changing rooms. Library and reading rooms. Museum and exhibition halls with audio-vision running commentary facilities. Smaller auditorium/meeting room with stage and facilities for projection and power point presentation. IT room with computer and internet connection, printing, photocopying and film making facilities. Separate dormitories for men and women accommodating at least 15-20 people in each. 6 guest rooms with en-suite. Reception and 2 office rooms. Large kitchen with Restaurant and communal dinning hall with access from outside as well for local visitors. Separate communal toilets and bath rooms for males and females. Arrangement for running water, electricity supply (solar panels), generator room, store room and guards/ watchman�s room. Shopping Mal for traditional tribal and non tribal arts, crafts, music, artifacts, jewelleries, clothes, books, magazines and herbal remedies.
B. Documenting traditional heritage knowledge. - Documentation of oral history and heritage knowledge of the tribes. Digitization of tribal arts, crafts and artifacts.
C. Conducting tribal cultural heritage events. - Organize workshops and interactive session Conduct exhibitions, dance, song, drama, archery and cultural fairs (melas )during important tribal festivals.
D. Training to youths - Conduct training to youths on tribal culture Provide forest specific to preserve tribal livelihoods
E. Running a Museum and resource centre - Collect tribal arts, crafts, media equipments, artifacts, forest and heritage products and herbal medicines for public awareness and education. Serve as a resource centre on all matters connected with the cultural, economical and social life of the tribal people. Provide education to schools and colleges using the tribal museum.
Land and capital investment for infrastructure and equipment- FUNDS AVAILABLE FROM STATE AND CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS. Running cost to be met partly or fully from the income generated from the centre.
WHO WILL RUN THE CENTRE
Run and managed by an executive committee of local tribal community leaders, artists, professionals, academicians and members of local administration. It will be headed by a member elected by the committee. The officers of the elected committee will monitor the work of the centre and will be responsible for its running.
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