Nature Talk

    It is a welcome endeavour to make the non-tribal population aware of the richness and diversity of the culture of indigenous people. Tribal fairs are manifestations of such endeavour. But the way such fairs are organised, one wonders if the tribals are made an alibi for the sponsors to get publicity. These sponsors, particularly the private companies including the private professional educational institutions put up large hoardings to advertise their products or organisations. The government advertises its achievements with smiling leaders overseeing the crowds and the NGOs their slogans. The government outlay for the tribal development over the years has become very impressive and a great prospect is seen in harnessing this fund. It is therefore not surprising that many private bodies and NGOs have emerged to serve the tribals. Ironically these bodies claim to be providing free services to the tribals.

    Against the present day scenario, when one remembers Gopabandhu Chaudhury, Nabakrushna Chaudhury, Malati Chaudhury with their followers, to have treaded the intractable tribal areas in the 50s of the last century, without an iota of publicity of their selfless service to the tribals and under heavy financial constraints, we certainly can claim to have come a long way. But we are afraid the commitment that the great souls showed towards the tribals and their upliftment for a healthy, dignified living, has been far left behind.

    Every activity amongst tribals has become a funded project. Every worker has become an employee under the project. Every service provided is thus compensated with a salary package. Service providers who love to call themselves as social entrepreneurs, compete amongst themselves for the fund and publicity. Not to boast of the service to the needy, once held as pious, is increasingly replaced by boisterous announcements.The fairs we are afraid have become occasions for such announcements.

    Less such announcements are made more we will be closer to the realities, more we will be conscious of our commitment, less we will appear hypocritical, less diluted will be our service to them.

No fair should raise the question How fair is the fair?