Promoting hand crafted beauties!
Those who read my blog regularly know that I am more oriented towards the traditional crafts! Remember my post for the #IWearHandloom campaign of Ministry of Textiles of Govt. of India? Recently I came to know of Tata Steel's effort on helping the tribal crafts of India survive. This has been happening for the past two years which were about Handicrafts and Theatre respectively. The main idea of this initiative is to bring together the various tribal communities across India who could share their ancestral knowledge and crafts with others, helping the mutual sustainability and development.
This year is the 3rd edition of Samvaad and the topic is Tribal Health Systems. Its happening in Jamshedpur as always. The 4-day extravaganza began on Nov 15th which was the birth anniversary of Birsa Munda, a tribal man who rose against the British Raj during the Indian Freedom Struggle.
So, why tribal health??? It’s a very interesting concept that caught my attention sometime ago. If you were brought up in India, you’d know that natural cure is an age-old tradition. Our parents have always given us things to eat that are not just food but are intertwined with medicinal properties. May it be the good old turmeric which is used on wounds as antiseptic as well as while cooking to kill microorganisms in food to the much more complex herbs used by Toda Tribes of Nilgiris that work as a natural birth control, may it be the usage of Tulsi (Basil) in water when given in temples or neem trees in front of the house as a natural pesticide or the complex herbs described by Sushruta that are used as anesthesia and in surgical procedures that even includes cesarean and cataract surgeries!
Unfortunately, it’s a common tendency for us to give up on our traditional practices and then decades later realize its preciousness when the entire world turns to it. It happened when the whole world realized the awesomeness of Yoga, when 2 Americans attempted to patent the medicinal qualities of turmeric, and now when the whole world is advocating the advantages of vegetarian/vegan food.
This year, before the actual Samvaad, 3 regional Samvaads happened at Vadodara, Mysore and Shillong. The present Samvaad is a combination of these 3 where stalls have been put up by various tribal communities displaying their knowledge, and much more. Apart from this there’s also paper presentation of various research scholars, panel discussions etc on the topic. Of couse, there’s a Tribal Fashion Show using textiles created by the tribes converted to gorgeous clothing by my own alma mater NIFT! Let’s see if I get to attend this atleast next year!