We could hear laughter coming from a distance. A group of women gathered outside their verandah; their chatter spilling onto the streets. A loud wailing cry resounded in the air as a little boy perched on the shoulder of a young woman turned to his mother and heaved a deep sob. The crowd slowly dispersed […]Read more "Attapadi: Government freebies have made our tribal community lazy"
We took a detour from the main road. Muddy trails gradually led to the Moopan’s doorstep. Well-trimmed hedges adorned his courtyard as the winds sighed a soothing lull. Somewhere in the fading dusk, amidst valleys bathed in a rose-hued gleam, a cluster of garden bowers breathed its last… A middle-aged man with jet-black hair and […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 27 (Final Part)"
“Maybe we were happier back then. May be not. I am not sure. At least, we had unity amongst ourselves. We forged deep connections with each other. Your sorrows were mine, as were your joys. Now, we seldom see our neighbour. Everyone is caught up in this race for survival. And, the community has lost […]Read more "Attapadi: Our tribal community seems to have lost its way"
We drove straight into the arms of a yonder hill. Thick fog rolled over its caverns; a distant thunder chiding on the winds. As we crossed a garden of bedewed green fields and crooked coconut trees, a faint fragrance of wilting foliage wafted through the air. And, far beyond the grassy swales, amidst blooms of flowerets, […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diaries: Day 27 (part 4)"
“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)"
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)"