We met Sheen at around 10.30 am. The hills were shrouded in mist adding a certain charm to the mystery and allure of Attapadi. A pall of gloom descended on the town as we made our way to a tiny tea stall run by a mother-daughter duo. After a heavy breakfast of crispy appams and […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 28 (Part 1)"
“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)"
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)"
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)"
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)"
At 11 pm, we parked near a petrol bunk to rest for the night. We were in a deep slumber when we heard footsteps outside. A man muttered to himself in Tamil. His head hung forward and he slurred his words. “I am not scared of the police. I am not scared of anyone,” he […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 24 (part 1)"
“We put in a request for electricity and asked the officials to get it done as soon as possible. I hope to see light someday,” said Arumugan with a smile. The government refuses to give the Malasar Tribe their rightful ownership of land simply because they haven’t measured the area yet nor have they conducted […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 21 (part 2)"
The morning began on a somber note. We woke up to the sound of church bells tolling in a distance. Our thoughts wandered to last night’s events. We could remember Thomas’s face; that stern facial expression trying really hard to mask his fear. Eyes bloodshot and filled with concern, his body was as still as […]Read more "Rest Of My Family Travel Diary: Day 21 (part 1)"