A Tribal Research Centre will soon be set up at Doon University to bring a holistic development in Uttarakhand’s five tribal communities.
The academic unit would suggest ways to conserve the fast fading tribal culture, officials said. “The tribal research centre, an autonomous body, will be set up at Doon University. We had submitted a proposal to the Union ministry of tribal affairs which was approved last month,” said Yogendra Rawat, joint director, Directorate of Tribal Welfare, Uttarakhand.
He told HT that the Centre had released an amount of `12 crore to Doon University to set up the research centre. “The unit has been mandated to carry out research on all aspects of tribal life be it health, education, livelihood or the cultural aspect,” Rawat said.
The research would give the officials a clear idea about different development requirements of each of the state’s five tribes-Bhotia, Tharu, Jaunsari, Buxa and Van Rawat (a forest dwelling tribe).
Of the five tribes, Tharus, Buxas and Van Rawat are economically more backward. Most people in these tribes earn their livelihood as daily wage labourers. “Research on various aspects of the lives of these three tribes would tell us about their actual requirements relating to health, education and livelihood,” Rawat said.
The requirements of the other two tribes — Bhotias and Jaunsaris — would be different as they are more prosperous. “Bhotias, for instance, have traditionally been engaged in wool trade and deal in wool based products so their requirements would be different,” said the official. “Jaunsari, on the other hand, is basically an agrarian community and the people would need different kinds of support from us.”
“Research into the cultural traditions of these tribes would help unravel the reasons behind the fast fading tribal culture,” Rawat said. “Once we know the reasons, it will be easier for us to conserve the culture of all the five tribal communities, which is on the verge of extinction,” he added.
The research centre, being an autonomous body, would also help in facilitating a holistic development. “There will be no procedural delays that the government departments face,” Rawat said.