Often there are media reports about mid-day meal mishaps in
various schools of remote areas. Such feeding programmes in
schools have been introduced, based on survey on tribal and poor
non-tribal children in the early seventies. It was presumed that
the young children will attend schools if they are given food. Yet
the problem of wooing tribal children remains.
It is not right to think that these people who live in seclusion
in the lap of nature are uneducated. True they are not acquainted
with the type of knowledge based on science, technology and
literature. These people are mostly in the preliterate stage of
society and guided by their traditional knowledge. In a welfare
nation like India, the stress on placing these people on the
mainstream of national development, for reaping the benefit of modern
The task in not achieved by simply establishing schools in the
tribal habitat. Government efforts have not met with desirable
success even after fifty years of development planning. Numerous
micro-studies, seminars proceedings and scholarly reports are
available in the library racks, but the formal school education
has not yet gained popularity among the tribal people. It is
probable that the learned persons are yet to perceive the actual
need and inner feeling of these forest dwelling citizens. Millennium
old informal education system orally transmitted through
generations, cannot be easily be wiped out simply by declaring these
as superstitious. Such oral and demonstrative (forest collection,
hunting, water conservation etc.) education was to make the young
ones fit to live in natural environment. Techno based civilization
is set to destroy the serenity of nature while producing
electricity, facilitating irrigation, setting up factories etc.
for which the inhabitants of the hills are not prepared to enjoy.
They feel alienated from natural resources and their age old
social education becomes redundant. On the other hand school
education fail to convey the requirements for in-situ living. The
problem needs serious attention.