Education of the Tribal children and Multilingual Education in Odisha

From Community to Classroom

MahendraKumar Mishra


State Multilingual Education Coordinator, Government of Odisha, India

The question of language must be addressed withinthe context ofa terrain of struggle that is central to our effortsto transform traditionaleducational structure that historicallyhave failed bi cultural students. (Antonia Darder in Culture, and Power in Classroom, page 105, 2012)


Imagine of the agricultural policythat motivated the farmers touse chemical fertilizers on their field to get bumper harvest, without considering the damaging effect to the fertility of the soil. After the soil is damaged severely, the planners formulated a policy to promote organic farming with natural manure. Farmers were surprised that why at all the agriculture scientists stopped practicing them traditional organic farming and introduced pesticides and now they are again propagating to follow organic farming. Were they not correct even of the support of such scientists wasnot with them? By then, farmers had to bear a substantial financial and environmental loss. They are in dilemma either to adopt the new or the old. Now, when they were accustomed to use pesticide and chemical fertilizer, they are again told to follow their traditional approach of farming.What the farming community can do?

The case of language shift and revitalization can also be understood from the fertilizer metaphor. By negating the mother tongue of the child in school education, children were deprived of their linguistic human rights, also experiential knowledge. In any development process,when a natural growth is violated, it damages the whole eco system. This is true in case of use of mother tongue in school education. Adoption of an imposed language is always goes againstbhasha swaraj. -Language self rule. Imposition of a language other thanthe mother tongue of the child leads to language death; it means natural loss of a child.

Linguistic Genocide

Modern Indian Languages ( MIL) of India are theoutcome of a nation state ideologywhich aimed ata restrictive language policies; emphasizingthe assimilativelanguage curriculum which represents the culture of the majority. This is validated by introducing the language of power as the medium of instruction in school education. Some of the reasons for language shift, language marginalization and language death are attributed to the replacement of local languages in office, schools, and also in media and communication.

Lack of appreciation of indigenousculture , values and languages creates a self hateand inferiority and a sense of self hate develops in the community and the first literate of the community ignore their own mother tongue being colonized their mind.(Hough : 2009 :147).Thedivide of literate and illiteratevis a vis the dismissalofone’sownknowledge systemalso takeplace. Thus schoolwith linguistic homogeneity compels the community to language shift and language genocide. The parents and the tribal communities have been seen ascausing the problem (Skutnabb Kangas:1999:45).

Due to the parents aspiration for their children to teach in the language of the school, supported by the political system, violation of linguistic human rights takes place. Devywrites,“onenotices nowinIndia andin other African countriesanover poweringdesire among parentsto educatetheir childrenthrough the medium of English” to enter in theinternational marketand labour.( Devy: 2014: 9)

Teaching of nontribal teachers in tribal areas in a dominant languagein school

directlynegates the Five Tribal Principles of Pundit Nehru[i] (1952).The assurance to the tribal communities was to safeguard their culture and language was violated through a structured monolingual school system that underminedthediverse languageof the children.

The faultysystem oflanguage censusthat clearlyevident from the decadal language decline from 1652 in 1961to122in2001 is a violation of safeguarding the minority languages of India. Even the language community below 10000 were also unrecognized by the Census of India is a major reason of language shift anddegeneration. (Devy: 2014: 6-7

Zone of Cultural Forgetting

In post-colonial India, many minority culture and the knowledge hidden in these languages are undermined, even forced to forget the heritageand cultural tradition that was shaped collectively by their ancestors. According toDarder, Schools, as zones of cultural forgetting, powerfully defy memories of belonging, erase cultural histories, erode cultural community ties, and gradually strip away our children’s intimate cultural bonds to ancestral knowledge, leaving them defenseless against Western epistemic ides (Paraskeva 2011; Santos 2007) Darder : 2016 )

Tribal knowledge system is constructed in their eco- cultural climate is discarded and the superiority of institutional knowledge has been promoted toserve the few and thus a deliberate social discrimination is created. Asyndrome of self-denial of one’s ownknowledge, identity, language and culture in one handandassimilation to a system dominated by the power increase thesocio- economicdisparity resulted with many socio – ecological hazards, finally violence and regional disintegration.

Linguistic Diversities in Odisha

The sporadic mushrooming ofmothertonguebasedteaching and learninginschooleducation initiatedby some statesduringlasttwo decadeswere a tokenattemptto fulfill the norms of the government. In some states,the governmentareapatheticwith a plea that thetribal communitiesareinterested tomainstreamso they don’t introducetribal languages in schools. The logic behind this argumentis thatwhen thenontribalchildrenwillstudy in the mainstreamlanguageand become educated,get better opportunity,whydo the tribal childrenstudyinMTand become chaprasis? This argument is equally advocated by the nontribal teachers and administrators whohistorically believe in an ethnic superiority and want to dominate the tribal. Some educated tribal people also support this agenda since they are also the product of colonial model of education. Both of these groups don’t have any understanding on the benefit of learning in mother tongue.

The tribal organization’s demand for inclusion oftheir languagesin the school systemtook shape during 1990-2010, since the DistrictPrimary Education Programme ( DPEP)and also inSarva Siksha Abhiyan( SSA, Governmentof India proposed for tribaleducation inmother tongueof the child. During this periodsome states initiated the education of ethnic minorities though children’s mother tongue which created the future of multilingual education in India.

Taking Odisha incontext I wouldlike to enumeratehow the language shifthas taken place by the state education system through itsrestrictivelanguageeducation policy that resulted withlinguisticgenocide and deprived the children from their linguisticrights, vis a vis, destroy thecultural bio- diversityandminority language. Theresult isout of62scheduledtribes ,nowonly32ethnic languages arealive , and rest 30ethnic languageshave assimilatedto Odia language.(Odishavolume22,PLSI, Orient Blackswan2014)

Odisha efforts to promote multilingual education tribalarea schools

The tribal literacy of Odisha clearly indicates the growth rate of tribal’s over three decades. The literacy rate of Orissa in 2001 is 63.08(75.36 males and 50.51 female) and the tribal literacy rate is below the state average. Over a period of ten years the growth of literacy among the tribal is 26 %.According to the Census of India, literacy rate among tribal people in Orissa is 37.37. Of the literates, males constitute 51% and females 23.47%.


Tribal community constitutes about 23 percent of the total population of Orissa. There are 62 scheduled tribes with their ethno-linguistics variations distributed in three parts of the state. Out of 314 Blocks 118 Blocks are with more than 50 percent tribal population and have been identified as Tribal Sub-plan Blocks. According to the 2001 Census total tribal children in the state of 6-14 age groups are about 17 lakhs out of which 13 lakhs are enrolled in the schools. Enrollment of ST children in primary is 11 lakhs and upper primary is 1.8 lakh[1].

Linguistic Minority children in the schools of Orissa as found from the Child Census-2005 is as followings.

i. Literacy of tribal people in Orissa is 39

ii. Female (tribal) literacy is below 21%

iii. 16% children of total tribal children population of the state is out of school (2.59million)

iv. Out of school tribal children constitute 90% of total out of school tribal children in 11 districts of Orissa.

v. Dropout of tribal children from school is about 51% in primary stage and 69% in upper primary stage.

vi. Dropout of tribal girls in some districts is about 85%

vii. Over 40% of all out of school children are tribal although tribal constitute 22% of state population.

viii. 11,479 schools have 20+ students of linguistic minority group.

ix. Number of tribal children in these schools is 673,622.

x. In pre-school education, language of the children is not introduced which an impediment in language is teaching in primary schools.

Schools with linguistic Minority students

There are 19479 schools in the state having 20 plus students with linguistic minority group. Total numbers of such students in these schools are 6.7 lakhs. Nearly 2/3 of them are belonging to Santali (58287) and other tribal language group (3.9 lakhs). Ten districts of Orissa account for over 90 percent of these tribal languages group of children. These ten districts have concentration of 90 percent tribal children with linguistic variation. Surprisingly along with Kalahandi these 10 districts also have 80 percent of the out-of-school ST children. The dropoutsof tribal childrenis 80percentinthe areaswhere thepercentage ofchildrenis 90percent inthese 10 districts.

Language Education in DPEP (1996-2003)

Experiencing MLE

In 1996- 2001, the state government of Odisha, under the aegis of DPEP adopted tribal education as a part of addressing the disadvantaged groups. The National Policy ofEducation 1986 and theProgramme of Action 1992 was the guiding principle for adopting such a programme.The POA 1992 writes, “Children from tribal communities will be taught through the mother tongue in the earlier stages of primary schools. Teaching learning materials in the tribal languages will be preparedproviding for a transition to the regional languages by classIII.”(POA: 1992:6). Based on the above mandate, six tribal languages were adopted and bilingual tribal- Odia primers were prepared and introduced in the schools. Additionally, programmes like attitudinal training of teachers on tribal language and culture, linguistic survey and mapping, community youth volunteers to teach in tribal languages were taken up. Some community mobilization programme was organized to sensitize the tribalsociety to create an atmosphere in favour of mother tongue based education.

The government of India department of Elementary Education and Literacy, under DPEP scheme, sported to promote education of tribal children in Odisha. To start withSaoralanguage wasadopted inwhich the teachers fromSaora community weretrained onlanguage pedagogy andmultilingual Education, use offolklore in theprimer, and learningskill inmother tongueandsecond language. Erai Erai – the first multilingual Primer inSaoraOdia languagewas prepared[ii]. Prof Ramakant Agnihotri and Dr Minati Panda rom GoI , New Delhi were theacademicresource provider of Saora curriculum development. About 40Saora andnon Saora primary teachers were trained on curriculum and textbook preparation. The focuswasto represent the Saora culture inthe curriculum andtext bookstolearn Saoraknowledgesystemand learnlanguagelearningskilllikereading andwritingina waythrough which theSaorastudents andnontribal teachers caninteract in both the languages to achieve the desired learning.Theuniqueness of this programmewas thatfor thefirsttime the primary teachersof Saoracommunitygotan opportunity to learn the importance oflanguage pedagogyandundergonea processwhere they prepared text book a andteacher trainingfor their own language. They also used this text book in 400 schools. Introduction of Erai Erai –

Class I primer in the schools withSaora monolingual children created a space to learn Saora and Odia. Teachers knew that any knowledge can be learnt in any language andone language is not opposed to the other. Saora was a language of deprivation became the opportunity after it was supported by the Center and the state. Led by Saora, other six languages were adopted by the state. These are Santali, Kui, Kuvi, Koya, Bonda and Juang. Bi-lingual primers were prepared in these languages and the materials were introduced in the targeted schools. Butthetraining of teachers, field monitoring and coordination was lacking for which the programme was though implemented it was almost half dead. Lack of political willand the whimsical decision of beurocrats did notwhole heartedly promoted the tribal Education programme.(Jhingran:2005).Only thetribal teachers knowingtribal languagesused these books and the studentsweretaughtinMT andOdiaas a part ofdual language maintenanceprogramme. Literally speaking, had the Saora experience nottaken up in 1997-2000, the current Multilingual Education programme in Odisha could not have been made possible. It was thespadeworkduring1997- 2000 inDPEP, thattempted thestategovernment to undertakeMultilingualEducationin10tribal languages during2005-2016.

Multilingual Education (MLE) in SSA

Orissa Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA) in Orissa during 2005-06 again decided toregenerate the tribal languages. The intention to provide equitable quality education maintaining the linguistic diversities abiding by the national curriculum framework. The operationaldefinition ofMultilingual Education in the NCF- 2005andthepositionpaper onSC/STeducationhelped a lot toconcretizethe MLE programmebased on the experience ofbilingualeducation programmeundertaken in1996-2004. In 2006 the state Tribal Advisory Committee chaired by theChief Minister approved 10 ten tribal languages for adoption in MLE. Thelanguages with majoritypopulation are Santal, Saora, Munda, Koya, Kui, Kuvi, Koya, Kishan, Oram, and the primitivetribalgroups ( PTG )are. Juang and Bonda. Out of these Santali language has achieved its status as scheduled language and rest of the languages are nonscheduled languages.

Curriculum and instructional materials were preparedby the tribal teachers with the support of MLE experts and community resource support. Block Resource centre coordinators (BRCC) and Cluster Resource Center Coordinators (CRCC)

were trained on MLE approach with resource group from DIET. In 2006-07, 154 schools in 10 languages were adopted in 26 Blocks of 8 districts. Total 4000 children were enrolled in these schools. Teachers were from the same language group and they were trained up in MLE approach. In 2008-2009 another 200 schools and 100 Santal schools are added into MLE programme.

Srujan a community mobilization programme and Rupantar – Attitudinal training programme for teachers are also planned to be conducted across the tribal areas in the State.(Mishra: 2012)

During2016,thenumber of MLEschools in the stateis 2300with3400 language teachersfor 21 languagesserving1,43,000students withlinguistic diversities.( SourceOPEPA,MLE Unit)


Theidea ofusingmother tongue inschool educationwas prescribedby the state academic agency totranslate the Odiatext book in ten languages and teach the childrenin their mother tongue toOdiaastarget language by submerging the mothertonguesoftribalcommunities. The idea was drawn from the colonial mindset tocivilizing the savage, like that of the European was civilizing the indigenous people. The post colonial administration still was unable to accommodate the spirit of constitutional mandate. The academicdomain of the country was unprepared to take over the responsibilities of adopting many languages in classrooms. This subtractive approach led to language shift. Indian multilingualvillage or city accommodates many language speakers without anysocial tension, but in school it becomes a zone of conflicting identities between teacher and students.

The state system was in favour of using MT not more than in class I and II, assuming thatwithin two years the children would learn Odia and then there was no need for mother tongue in class III onwards.Theexisting state text books werealsoreviewedin thelight of tribalchildren’sculturaland linguistic context andit was revealed that thevalues and morals of the textswere written tofit in to thesocial situation ofnontribal children. Thus the tribal children were deprived of their community language and knowledge. The academicianspleaded that tribal language will not be used after they learn Odia. But the counter argument was that, shall we stop talking in Odiaafter learning English?

A resource pool from the tribal communities were identified, were trained on thebasics of MLE theory andapproaches, made them understand the importance ofcultural bio diversity and language pedagogy.Thetribal resource persons, preparedteaching - learning materials for children in their mother tongue usinglocal knowledge,alsopreparedteachers for MLEschools ,createdspace for in-service teachersonlanguage pedagogy. The state also took stepsstrengthening the DIETs, to provide academic support and research. Odisha government provided its support to tribal languages inschool education that aimed atlearning of children from their cultural context.

ThisMLE groupsresponse was clear to understand thatlanguage maintenance isnecessary thanlanguagetransition / shift andone mustnotaspire to learn a languageat the cost of other. Most of the arguments were drawn from the discussion made with the tribal teachers. Oncethey knewthewhy and how ofMLEthey understood that how theirmaintenance oflanguage in socio- linguisticsituationis inevitable for theircognitivedevelopmentandidentity formation. They also realized that they have the constitutional rights /human rights to provide learning to their children. Thus the language maintenance for curricular knowledge in schools was helpful to revitalize the minority languages in school. Butunless thelanguageis a living and spoken one itisdifficulttorevitalizeandsustainin the community. Since most of thetribal languages in Odisha are in a living condition in the community, it is possible to revitalize.In spite of it, theyounger generationtribal youthsadopted tomoderncollege education, though speaktheircommunicative language , theyare unaware of therich oral traditionandknowledge inherentin their mother tongue.Thus there are some moribund languages found among the tribal of Odisha, e.g. Juang, Oroam, Kishanand Koya.

MLE was well imagined programme encompassing the local knowledge,oral tradition, social customs and social organization, material culture, fairs and festivals, ecology and the knowledge system as a whole that is inthe cultural practice of the tribal communities. The culturaland social curriculum were collected and discussed tounderstandthecultural methods of learning of the communitiesacross time and space, and then theseknowledge’swere usedinshaping the tribal specific curriculumfor class I to class V.The curriculum and teachinglearning materials were prepared based onthe guiding principles of National Curriculum Framework 2005. Thus tenindependent culturally responsive curriculum and text materials were prepared by the teachers adopting the methods oflearning and teaching that is connected to the experience of the children. The uniqueness of these text materials represented the cultural world views of respectivetribes. Children deprived of their language and knowledge got back their voices. They could also found the classroom meaningful while interacting with their teachers speaking in their own languages.

Methods and Teaching and Learning Approach

TheNational and International resource persons on MLEsupported to Odisha programmein the field of curriculum and text book development, also in teacher training.ThetheoryofMLEwas tointroduce the mother tongue as a subject from class I to class Vand also as amediumfor the subjects likemathematics andenvironmentscienceup to class III inmother tongue. From Class IV – Vboth mother tongue and state language is applied to practice two way communications between the teachers and students.Tribal knowledgesystemandsocialcurriculumwasthe foundation forintroduction of MLE curriculumand approaches of preparation of textbooks drawn from theideasofNCF 2005.The methods oflanguageteaching and learningwasthus based ontwo track approach, the firstonewasmeaning and communication andsecond track wason accuracy and correctness. This corresponds to the BICS as track I andCALPS for track II adopted from the theory of Jim Cummins.(Though this terminology was adoptedduring the preparation of materials, there was a serious debate about the relevance of these two track approach. The thematicapproachinrepresenting the cultural calendar of thetribesbased on their space andtimein annual school calendarwasadoptingtheform and content from the community oraltraditionafterediting them. The methods of teachingwerea blend of both cultural knowledge and learning language and mathematics skills. Tribal teachers regained their cultural treasure to make them a part of curricular and classroom pedagogy. They also became the first generation tribal teachers from their community to prepare curriculum and text books for their own community that gave them a sense of glory and recognition. The tribal socialorganizations actively took part with these teachers to promote their languages in school curriculum. The majorshiftin this programmewas to accommodatethehistorically disadvantagedlanguages and knowledge of thetribal in the school systembacked up by the stategovernmentwith a strong political will, that helpedtoregain their languageandculture in a government system. The advantagesof theintroduction ofthe culture and language inMLEgave an identity to the tribal organizations and also the nontribalteachers andadministrators foundthis programmeas a part of neweducational initiatives and became a part of theprogramme.


Number oftribal children

Class I


Class II


Class III


Class IV




Class VI




Totaltribal students inelementary stage


Identification ofschools and teachersfo r MLE

The class wise number of tribal children in 61373schools of Odisha during 2005 was as followings. Out of this 817711 student from class I to class III were facing serious learning difficultiesdue to gap of home language and school languages. Placement of teachers and posting of teachers from tribal areas was taken up in the MLE schools.First of all the tribal teachers from tribal communitieseager to servetheir own areaswere invited and they weretransferred to MLE schools. In case of Bonda and Juang thetribal youths having Matriculation certificate were engaged by the District Collector recommended by the Village Education Committee.

Teachers fromtribal communities were trained ontheory ofmother tongue andmultilingualeducation, importance of indigenous knowledge andecology , theneed for understanding oflanguage pedagogyand languageacquisitioninfirst and second language, learningskill of languageand mathematicsandclassroomtransactionprocesses. Besides, language attitude, tribal nontribal values and culture, strength and weaknesses of tribal culture were also discussed in the training of teachers. The idea of critical pedagogyin order for theself assertion of tribal in the context of presentday politics andpowerrelationand theobjective ofmaintainingtribal language and culture incommunity andschoolwere some of the topics for the teachertraining

Odisha MLEprogramme was primarilyminority language dominant programme wherefrom Class I to class IIII about80- 90percentmother tonguewas usedand in Class III andIVa balanced language programme wasadoptedby usingbothMT andL2equally.

TheOdisha MLE programmewas a late existprogranme that ensured8 years of MT basededucationfromthe age group of 3- 11from the EarlyChildhood CareCenter toprimary stagein10languages.

MLE in Odisha was a wellplannedprogrammewith a lot ofintersectingareas likeequity,quality , ecology,language, identity, local knowledge, indigenous education and language pedagogy, andcommunityrepresentation. A completeculturally sensitivecurriculum isframedin each language taking the cultural context and atransformation from cultural theme tocurricular theme was prepared adopting the learningskills oflanguage and mathematics to facilitate the childrento regain theirexperiential knowledge inschools

Startedin2006-07 academicyear with 154schools fortentribal languages, this programme is now adopted in2300governmentschoolswith3400teachers from the respective languages, providing textbooksandtraining to the teacher inrespective languages. Now the state has adopted21 tribal languages and about 1,43,000 students are taught in their mother tongue and other languages.

Role of Tribal Organization in Revitalizing the Language and Culture

Realizing thethreat to their land, language and identitytribalsocietyand organization( like theSantal Samaj, Bharat Munda Samaj, GondMahasabha,Saora Mandali, KuiSamaj,Koya Samajand manymoretribal )emergedandstarted theirmovementfor socio- economicjustice. They used their language and culture as the symbols of their group solidarity and identity. They demanded for inclusion of their language in the VIIIth schedule, and also introduce their language in the school education as the medium of instruction. Thesetribal organizations started social movements to revitalize their culture and languages.The modern educated tribal led the movementfortheir political and cultural identity inwhich they used languageas their symbol of solidarity movement. They also conducted regular meetings, submitted their demand to the state and district governments, called agitationsand padyatras, published theirawareness literature in their own language and in their own scripts, prepared cheap books, DVD and films in their languages. The most importantstep the tribal organizations tookfor their language survival isopening of community language schools inSantali, Saora, Ho and Munda and Kondh (Kui) languageto unify tribal through their language and literacy. Though these organizations were not supported by thegovernment, the communitybears the responsibilities of managing the organizations with a hope to get their languages in school education and get identity in social communication.

Besides, the tribal languages got space in the All India Radio and Television, staging drama in local languages. Sahitya Academy also promoted the nonscheduled languages in promotion of literature and literary wards. Publication of books and journals in local languages, preparation of documentary films has also been made by the state governments and private filmmakers. At present the digital media has helped the tribal languages to prepare font and also developing web sites to disseminate tribal languages across the globe.

Study of MLE by the NCERT

Looking atthestateinitiative ofMLEin Odisha, the NCERT, New Delhi commissioned a study onMLE in Odisha during2009- 2011 adopting 100MLEschoolsto compare with100 non MLEschoolsin ten tribal languages. Though the MLE in Odisha was in its infancy, just had completed Class I and II in 2009, the study was too early to initiate. However the study presented witha well researched programme evaluation from which it was revealed that enrollmentand retention of tribal children has increased. Children were engaged meaningfully with the teachers in the classrooms. Cultural materials of the communities wereused in thetext books andteacher training. The result of the study was encouraging. The report reads as follows; children in MLE School received significantly higher achievement score than children in non MLE schools. (NCERT: 2011: 41)

In July 2014 a policy was notified by the stategovernment to continue MLE programme with strong teacher training, monitoring and coordination with assessment and research. After the policy was introducedmore schools were identified and more teachers from language communities were appointed, but the pedagogical and monitoring side of MLE is still unresolved.

Aftermath in Odisha

Government of Odisha fulfilled the requirements in MLE programme. The policy clearlyBut the academicside ofMLEintheclassrooms andteacher professionalismremained weak after2012.Tehfrequent change ofofficer without any choice ofexpertise and interest, teachers lack ofsupport from the stateacademicdomain,responding therecurrentissues and challenges arisenin the field, lack of monitoring and coordination, make the programme weak. If proper steps are not taken in time, it is likely to slow down the learning of tribal children in the classroom, sincelearningdepends on constantinterestandeternal vigilance.

As regards to the policy with the implementation of MLE in the state ofOdisha and Chhattishgarh it may besaid that, Odisha governmentdid not have apolicy till 2014, andbelieved in the plan and implementation realizing theeducational needs of thetribal children and after 8 years ofimplementation the state was convinced thatit has to besupported by the state forits sustainability. It was clearthatin many states ofIndia MLE isusedwithout properplanning, lacking understanding of itsimportance in the long run, lack proper vision tomake this language education inclusiveto fostera cultural democracyand maintaincultural diversitiesin schools.

The above discussion contains the impact of language adoption in school education to revitalize the minority languages. Recognition of minoritylanguages in schools is a marker ofethnic identity. Historically, when these languages were marginalized. The community is still in its initial stage to understand the importance of their language inclusion in schools. The nontribal teachers and administrators, even the political leaders are alsoat the cross road either to adopt MT in school education or introduce English in later stage. WhenEnglish is introduced in class I withoutprovidingtrainedEnglishlanguageteachers,the threat of ignoring one’sown language in one h and, andinability to mastera foreign language that is notused in a social domain isbigmoral andtheoretical dilemmain whichthere is a needofclear practicebased policyand not just introduce the policy per se.

(I am thankful to Prof.AnvitaAbbi, Ex- Professor of Linguistics Department ,JNU,New DelhiandProf.RamakantAgnihotri, Linguist Ex -Head ofLinguisticDepartmentUniversity of Delhi for hiskindsuggestionto organize my thoughtand write this paper)

[1] 2001 census data,Government of India

[i] And a long time ago, in 1955, Nehru had addressed an All India Conference of Tribes in Jagdalpur, Bastar District of Chhattisgarh (Then Madhya Pradesh) and had said: ‘Wherever you live, you should live in your own way. This is what I want you to decide yourselves. How would you like to live? Your old customs and habits are good. We want that they should survive but at the same time we want that you should be educated and should do your part in the welfare of the country.’

here are his five fundamental principles for tribal development –

1. People should develop along the line of their own genius and we should avoid imposing anything on them. We should try to encourage in every way their own traditional arts and culture.

2. Tribal rights to land and forest should be respected.

3. We should try to train and build up a team of their own people to do the work of administration and development. Some technical personnel from outside will no doubt, be needed, especially in the beginning. But we should avoid introducing too many outsiders into tribal territory.

4. We should not over administer these areas or overwhelm them with a multiplicity of schemes. We should rather works through, and not in rivalry to, their own social and cultural institutions.

5. We should judge results, not by statistics or the amount of money spent, but by the quality of human character that is evolved. (https://moonchasing.wordpress.com/2010/01/02/lest-we-forget-nehrus-panchsheel

[ii] ProfRamakantAgnihotri,the noted linguistfromDelhi University, MrDhirJhingran, Ex Director,DPEPinMHRD, Govt of India, and at present , Director ,Language and Learning Foundation,New Delhi , Prof. Minati Panda, presently in JNU, ProfDebi Prasanna Pattanayak, noted linguist and late ProfKhageswar Mahapatra, Ex- Director Academy of tribal Language and Culture, Bhubaneswarwere involved in this programme toprovideacademic and policy support.

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