Mumbai: In a bid to preserve and promote
traditional as well as indigenous scientific knowledge of
Indian tribal groups, a three-day National Adivasi Childrens`
Science and Traditional Knowledge Congress has been organised
at Vishakapatnam in Andhra Pradesh from February 21.
"This Adivasi Science and Traditional Knowledge Congress
is the first of its kind. We wanted to consolidate the
traditional knowledge available throughout the country
actively involving tribal students and also make them interact
with the modern scientists to understand its relevance
through this event," Dr Chandrakant Puri Professor-cum-
Director, Centre for Study of Social Exclusion & Inclusive
Policy, SNDT Women`s University said today.
The tribal child today is at cross-roads in education
where their unique traditional knowledge receives little
recognition from the mainstream society so much so that they
themselves have lost the dignity of this knowledge, Puri said.
"Innumerable forms of scientific practices and knowledge
are dying today for lack of due recognition that it deserves.
While the country is moving ahead it is necessary for the
young `Adivasi` generation to participate in these inclusive
growth models," he said.
Also, it is equally important that the country gives
attention to strengthen and protect the invaluable wisdom of
Adivasi ancestors, he added.
Two NGOs-- Dhaatri, a Resource Centre for Women and
Children working in Andhra Pradesh, in close association with
Samata, an advocacy organisation for Adivasi rights will be
closely working with SNDT Women`s University and focus on
strengthening adivasi knowledge and education, he said.
The aim of the Congress will be to make the tribal
children conscious of their traditional knowledge and
practices in their own communities as well as in other
communities, Puri said.
To make them aware of the importance and relevance of
these practices and thereby, instil a sense of pride and
The Congress is also to encourage them to seek
solutions for addressing present day problems using
traditional knowledge and improving on it, he said adding
that it will also foster a sense of solidarity among children
from various tribes and regions.
Efforts will also be made to strengthen awareness of
the scientific traditions and wisdom of adivasi communities
among mainstream students and emphasis will be laid on
subjects such as farming practices, soil and water
conservation methods, biodiversity, diet and nutrition,
traditional medicine, metallurgy, tools and implements,
weather prediction and traditional sports, Puri added.