Central University of Odisha observes International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Webinar on leaving no one behind: Indigenous Peoples and the call for a new social contract
Koraput: The Central University of Odisha celebrated International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples by organizing an online programme on 9th August 2021. A webinar was organised as per the UN declaration with the theme on “Leaving No One Behind: Indigenous People and the Call for a New Social Contract”. Prof. S.K. Palita, the Vice-Chancellor I/c. CUO presided over the programme. Speakers Prof. Panchanan Mohanty, Honorary Chair Professor, Tribal Studies, CUO and Professor and Head, Institute of Applied Science & Humanities, GLA University, Mathura and Shri Charudutta Panigrahi, Director, FIDR, Gurugram and advisor to Central University of Odisha, (TED) Speaker, economist, prolific writer and a Futurist delivered their talk. The distinguish Visiting Professors, Dr. Asit Kumar Das, Registrar; Dr. Ram Shankar, Controller of Examinations, Faculty Members of the University and other Institutions, the non-teaching staff, research scholars and students were participated in the programme.
Prof. S. K. Palita, the Vice-Chancellor I/c, paid homage to late Prof. I. Ramabrahmam the former Vice-Chancellor of CUO and delivered the inaugural address. He emphasized about the demography and rich cultural diversity of the indigenous people of the world and the Odisha. He has also pointed out that after the establishment of the Central University of Odisha research is being carried out as many of the indigenous knowledge system, medicinal herbal plants, flora and fauna available in the Koraput region and effort are taken to preserve them research and documentations. Some of them have been also published in national and international Journals.
The distinguished panellist Prof. Panchanan Mohanty expressed deep sorrow over passing away of Prof. I. Ramabrahmam and shared how he was working together in various Committees when he was colleague of Prof. Ramabrahmam at Central University of Hyderabad. He highlighted the importance of indigenous languages which continue to exist since long. He also pointed out the cognitive abilities of the multi-lingual indigenous children by giving some examples. He discussed about contemporary Odihsa putting it in the frame of indigenous roots while discussing about its modern language, culture and traditional practices. Within a very short time he quickly put the Indian subcontinent and Odisha and discussed elaborately with reference to linguistic diversity. Giving importance to 9th August, he said, we are celebrating International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and Quit India Movement together”. So giving importance to Indigenous Peoples and the call for a new social contract “the CUO should start to observe Quit Discrimination Day” he advised.
Mr. Charudutta Panigrahi in his speech discussed about inclusion, participation and executions of the policy designed for indigenous population with a renewal agreement. As a part of inclusive growth all the development programmes need representations of indigenous population. In the context of climate change he emphasized the indigenous people’s care for nature, understanding their indigenous practices, knowledge system, their dwelling pattern, understanding reality and dynamics of the indigenous community to enter into a fresh social contract required their inclusion into the mainstream development. He screened a documentary on indigenous people comprising of real social practices of the people while showing their deep rooted culture and value with the nature.
Dr. Kapila Khemundu, Asst. Professor & Honorary Director, Centre for Tribal Welfare and Community Development delivered his introductory remark emphasizing the importance of the Day. Dr. B.K. Srinivas, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology offered vote of thanks and concluded the programme with a view how the indigenous people are being deprived of their basic right for sustenance. The Programme was coordinated by Dr. Phagunath Bhoi the Public Relations Officer of the Central University of Odisha. Mr. Niranjan Majhi and Miss. Josna Joshi both the M.Phil Scholars from the Department of Sociology compeered the programme.