Jamshedpur, Nov 16: Tata Steel inaugurated the third edition of its pan-India tribal conclave on Birsa Munda’s birth anniversary on Tuesday here, with over 40 tribes across 20 states from around the country slated to take part in it.
Themed around ‘Tribal Health Systems’, the four-day long event will hear experts from tribal regions on the benefits of native medicines. Throughout the duration of the conclave these experts, or ethno-botanists, will discuss their age-old custom of diagnosing and curing ailments from local natural elements only.
The event was thrown open to public with a tribute to Birsa Munda, the 19th century tribal warrior known for chinning up to mighty British, proceeding with dance performances from artistes of several states.
Tata Steel Group Executive Director (Finance and Corporate), Koushik Chatterjee, at the inaugural said: “We care and respect the diversity, culture, history and practices of the tribal community. Samvaad aims to celebrate tribal life by providing a common platform to share experiences, views and issues that impact the tribal communities.”
He also said: “There is a world of tribal life which is very pure and close to nature and as citizens of this country, the tribals have contributed for many centuries. We are very proud to say that over the last three years, Samvaad has become a big celebration and at Tata Steel we would like to continue to facilitate this dialogue.”
Several tribes also put on display their local paintings, drawings, and other wares at the stalls to interest visitors in their singular cultures. Also there were many tribals with herbs and twigs and mushrooms of all sorts, which they said can be used to cure everything from a toothache to breast cancer.
Among other tribes, Munda of Jharkhand and Konyak of Nagaland performed their native dance.
“Our dance is called a ‘warrior’ s dance’ or ‘victory dance’, which we Nagas perform upon winning a battle,” Chenwang Konyak, the leader of Naga troupe told IANS.
“I loved dancing here, more so because I got to know other cultures as well. Others, at times, perceive us as very different but I want to let them know that we are Indians too and we love India,” he said.
“It’s a matter of shame for those people who don’t even know about the geography of the nation and still insist on appearing as well educated. Just now someone asked me where Nagaland was, whether he was teasing me I don’t know,” he added.