“While some tribesmen sold most of the land they owned to settlers for peanuts, others were duped into handing over their land in the guise of a better deal. When the Forest Conservation Act came into being in 1980, majority of their farmland was lost to the reserves. By the time the bill was passed, […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diaries: Day 27 (part 3)"
The cable (leaked by Wikileaks) also read that exploitation or abuse of tribes who traditionally resided in the heart of the forests was a common phenomenon in the country. Many ‘non-tribals’ viewed the scheduled tribes as an obstacle to development who must be removed from forest lands and ‘integrated’ into the mainstream culture largely as […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diaries: Day 27 (part 2)"
Last evening, Joby introduced us to Radhakrishna Kurup who would serve as our translator and point of contact to tribes for the next few days. “It might not be possible to visit Kurumba hamlets since they have some of the most difficult trails to trek through. Besides, this time of year, the paths are muddy […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diaries: Day 27 (part 1)"
“The teaching profession is grossly undervalued today. Personally, I feel that only people with heightened spiritual awareness should be allowed to teach; those who have absolute clarity on what they wish to do with their life. That way, we get teachers who are completely dedicated to their profession. There are 189 primary schools in all […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 26 (Final Part)"
We woke up to a hazy dawn. Veiled tufts of clouds nestled in the shadows of the woods; tasselled fields strummed unsung tunes of forgotten lore. And, far beyond the gardens, where wafted the scent of flowers and shrubs, lived a forgotten clan in homes without names amidst fading lines of earth and soil. The sunrise gale […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 26 (part 1)"
“All the projects were introduced with good intentions and the purpose of doing something meaningful for the tribes. For instance, if a tribal person was hospitalised and if he or she had to be shifted to a bigger hospital, ITDP would give them an ambulance and provide the chief medical officer with enough funds to […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary Day 25 (Final Part)"
“Every year on Onam, a kit of pulses, rice and other edibles along with a fresh set of clothes is gifted to the tribes. What more can the government do?” asked Sadiq as he requested his attendant to fetch him some water. He explained in hushed tones that the ambivalent attitude of authorities in power […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 25 (part 4)"
Scribbling on a piece of paper, Sadiq paused for a while before explaining in detail the schemes introduced to tackle infant deaths in Attapadi. A few records suggested that there were more than 50 deaths reported in the past ten years. “Creating sensationalised news has become top priority today. Reports in the media have been […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 25 (Part 3)"
Sadiq informed us that the Attapadi Co-operative Farming Society (ACFS) has 816 registered members and all of them belong to the scheduled tribe community – Irula, Mudugar and Kurumba. The board of directors comprise District Level Officers and four elected Scheduled Tribe members (non-official) who represent the four farms. The society’s primarily role lies in maintaining unorganised […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 25 (part 2)"
During our interactions with Mani and Joby, we realised that the locals strongly believed that the current situation of the tribes can be attributed to government’s ‘proactive’ measures with respect to strengthening their socio-economic situation. According to them, the tribesmen have become extremely lazy today and thrive on freebies for progress. This struck us as odd. […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 24 (Final Part)"