Tata Steel Foundation Observed International Day Of The World’s Indigenous Peoples
On International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples Tata Steel Foundation (TSF) hosted a webinar to honour the strength, resilience, dignity, and pride of indigenous peoples. Experts from diverse backgrounds came together to discuss the innovative ways in which the indigenous communities continue demonstrating resilience and strength in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Meenakshi Munda, Social Scientist and Writer, and Naresh Deogam, Vice President, Ho Mahasabha, Chaibasa, participated as panelists and shared insights and good practices with the audience to highlight how the preservation and promotion of indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge and practices can be leveraged further during this pandemic.
Naresh Deogam said: “In tribal cultures, when someone enters our house, we wash the hand of people with turmeric water as it acts like an antiseptic. Practices like these have kept our homes safe and such cultures have so much relevance today.”
Dr Munda expressed that there are a lot of practices that exists in the tribal communities that the world overlooks. “Interestingly, most of the world’s oldest and scientific practices lie with them. A number of tribal communities have made masks of sal leaves and many have stuck down their villages. They understand social distancing in a better manner because it has been a practice in their communities to lock themselves up when a health crisis happens,” she opined.
Eminent folk singer and Padma Shri recipient Mukund Nayak also sent his wishes through a video message marking the launch of ‘Vishwaas’, the first single from Rhythms of the Earth (ROTE), which is an ensemble of tribal music across India and has been curated by TSF. This musical celebration of the many wonderful women, men and children from the tribes of the country is a vote of confidence in a way of life which has never distinguished between our planet and its people, and rejoices all that can be learnt from the tribes of the world who are with the Company and the Foundation on the Samvaad (the annual tribal conclave hosted by Tata Steel) journey.
Rhythms of the Earth (ROTE), that germinated on the stage of Samvaad, brings together more than 90 musicians from over 16 tribes and 6 states. In February 2018, ROTE performed at National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai and the same year in November witnessed a music collaboration with Bickram Ghosh and Purbayan Chatterjee. In November 2019, ROTE’s traditional music fused with Swarathma’s contemporary beats and brought alive a musical symphony.
“The tribal communities have steadfast confidence in their traditional identity, unshakable faith in harmony that nature teaches us and conviction that human beings can and need to balance the effects on the environment and community. This song reiterates our confidence and our willingness to learn from their rich way of life,” said Sourav Roy, Chief CSR, Tata Steel.