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"
“Years ago, AHADS conducted a raid and illicit liquor was seized from various outlets. Unless and until, individuals feel the necessity to change, we can’t make real progress. They must be made aware of the repercussions of prolonged alcohol addiction. Although, the ban on liquor brought much needed respite to many residents, it also fuelled […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diaries: Day 27 (Part 5)"
“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)"
“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)"
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)"
After a heavy breakfast of crisp rotis and aloo sabji, we headed towards Agali town in the morning. Joby planned to introduce us to a few officials who could provide all the information we required pertaining to tribal welfare projects apart from helping us out with research and acquiring comprehensive statistical data on the tribes. […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 25 (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)"
We drove all night to Valparai from Nelliyampathy till the break of dawn. With vales of jade unfurling in the mist, the hills shone bright in the lingering flames of amber. Dew drops glistened in the sun as the forest received its first rays of morning light. And, somewhere in the depths of enfolding mountains, […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 22"