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Role of indigenous women in preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge

A report on a webinar on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on “Tribal Development: Policies and Challenges” organised by In-Minds Society and Anthro International:

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International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples was observed in Srinagar on August 9. The theme for this year’s World Tribal Day was “The Role of Indigenous Women in the preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge”. On the occasion, In-Minds Society and Anthro International organised a webinar entitled “Tribal Development: Policies and Challenges” in which Research Scholars, Professors, subject experts, students, civil society and indigenous people from different parts of the country participated.
Speakers in the panel included Irfan Ali Banka, Dr. Abdul Khabir, Dr. Raja Muzaffar Bhat, Dr. Javaid Rahi and CEO Anthro International. The role of indigenous women in preserving tribal culture, developing and promoting uses of natural products, integration of traditional knowledge and practices of indigenous women was highlighted during the programme.
Speaking on the occasion, Irfan Ali Banka, Tribal Researcher, RTI Activist and Anthropologist with interest in Policy Making informed that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is celebrated globally on 9 August every year. It marks the date of the inaugural session of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations in 1982.
He said that the core of the Sustainable Development Goals as enshrined in the 2030 Agenda is to leave no one behind. He stressed upon the indigenous design of the policies and their awareness thereof at the grassroot level among the indigenous communities. He highlighted various issues related to education, health, sanitation and livelihood of the tribals in Sonamarg, Gulmarg and Budgam.
The guest speakers Dr. Abdul Khabir who is Deputy Director Tribal Affairs and Nodal officer Tribal Research Institute J&K apprised the participants about the initiatives being undertaken by the department from last one year for the tribal community in Jammu and Kashmir. He informed that an MOU has been signed for establishment of Tribal chair at IIT Jammu and BGSBU Rajouri and they have been entrusted with the task to document tribal culture, folk songs, folk tales, folk dance, rituals, customs, traditions, artefacts, indigenous health practices etc.
Prominent Social Activist and Writer, Dr. Raja Muzaffar Bhat highlighted the issues of the indigenous peoples at ground level with respect to individual forest rights and community forest rights. He laid stress upon empowerment and awareness of Graham Sabhas particularly women among the indigenous communities.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Javaid Rahi, writer and tribal social reformer and Hon’ble LG Awardee, stressed upon the inclusion of the emic perspective of the indigenous communities while framing policies and undertaking development. He explained the way the development should be in the views of the indigenous groups.
Commentary on the proceedings of the event was given in detail by CEO Anthro International who thanked the speakers and participants for joining hands on the International Day for World's Indigenous Peoples and making its commemoration a success.
In the event, there were 58 participants including Academicians, Research Scholars, Practitioners, indigenous people and civil society members across the country. Participants form the indigenous communities and others also raised their queries during the session which were addressed by the speakers.

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