Report by Badal Tah; Rayagada, March 9: On the eve of International Women’s Day, National Tribal Research Institute(NTRI), New Delhi under the aegis of Ministry of Tribal Affairs(MoTA), GOI hosted a national level webinar where nine eminent tribal women achievers elaborated about the journey they went through in contributing to their communities in general and women in particular.
Dr. Nupur Tiwary, Special Director, NTRI, New Delhi welcomed and set the context of the theme. Ms. Shoko Noda, Resident Representative, UNDP spoke vividly on roles of tribal women in nation building. A video presentation and felicitation of tribal women achievers was projected by researchers of Insitute. Tribal welfare through Sabka Sath- Sabka Prayas was emphasized by Shri Navaljit Kapoor, Joint Secretary, MoTA. Shri S.N Tripathi
Director General, IIPA talked about Women as Tribal leaders in upholding tribal culture and traditions in the societry.
Experience sharing was done by tribal women achievers namely Ms. Bidhulata Huika from Odisha, Ms. Chami Murmu (Nari Shakti Puruskar Jharkhand), Ms. Jamuna Tudu (Padma Shri Awardee Jharkhand), Ms. Bhubaneswari Netam from Chhattisgarh, Ms. Sheela Powell from Tamil Nadu, Ms. Lakhimi Barua from Assam, Ms. Sushi Dhruw from Chhattisgarh, Ms. Tulsi Gowda from Karnataka, Ms. Raveena Bariha from Chhattisgarh.
Ms. Huika spoke on the campaign led by Odisha Adibasio Manch on Bhuria Committee Recommendations, which ultimately resulted in PESA(Panchayat Extension to Schedule Areas) Act in 1996. But unfortunately even after passage of twenty five years, the Rules on PESA are yet to be framed by Odisha Govt. She also elaborated on the entitlement rights of adivasis in the context of pre-primary education in tribal languages. Due to a campaign on Mother Tongue based Multilingual Education(MTMLE), Govt of Odisha brought out primers named “New Arunima” in ten tribal languages during 2014 and assured the campaigners to bring nineteen more primers in other tribal languages prevalent in Odisha; but those promises were made simply to be broken, said Huika.
Panel discussion on tribal women related issues like Health & nutrition, Education, Entitlements, Livelihood, Social Exclusion, etc was done by Meenakshi Kathel, Ms. Anju Pandey from UN Women, Ms. Manisha Arora from Women on Wings, Ms. Debaleena Ray, Ms. Smruti Desai from Gujarat. After concluding remarks from MoTA team, vote of thanks was extended by Ms. Tanya Sharma from NTRI.
Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), Rayagada under the leadership of Ms.Jayanti Padmalaya Sahu & Ms.Usharani Dash also celebrated the women’s day by conducting a rally of Anganwadi Workers, helpers & ASHAs from Gajapati chowk to Gandhi Park after traversing through the town. Smt Bidulata Huika, State Convenor, Odisha Adibasi Manch reiterated about the roles of AWWs and ASHAs in up-keeping the health, pre-primary education systems of district in spite of hilly terrains, inaccessibility and state’s insensitivity towards their genuine demands. BMS state secretary Sri Jogeswar Das as Chief Guest, Advocate Raj Kishore Sahu as Guest of Honour, Scribe Bhagyasri Mishra also spoke on the occasion.
District Legal Services Authority(DLSA), Rayagada under the chairmanship of its District Judge observed the Women’s Day at Sahayog Nursing Training School. In Kolnara block conference hall, Collector Sri Saroj Kumar Mishra along with BDO Tapas Bhoi and other district & block level officials celebrated the day with Covid protocol.