Adivasi festivals hit students\' academics
ADILABAD: Festivals prominently celebrated by the Adivasis are affecting the studies of their children in the Adilabad region. Amid the frenzy, some 40 per cent of the students are keeping off the tribal hostels and schools under the Tribal Welfare department in this region.
Students who went home for the Polala festival in the last week of August did not return to the hostels even after the Diwali holidays and their schooling was affected.
There are 133 tribal Ashram schools. Some 34,000 students are studying in them. There are 20,000 students at the 905 Primary Tribal Schools under the ITDA, Utnoor, in the erstwhile Adilabad district.
Adivasi leaders urge the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA), Utnoor, to redesign the academic calendar year by keeping the tribal festivals in mind. “There are many holidays for festivals that are not observed by the adivasis. These holidays can be struck off and holidays shifted for the times when there are adivasi festivals,” they proposed.
Diwali is the biggest festival for the adivasis. The hangover would continue for some more days after such festivals. This must be factored in while deciding on the holidays. Adivasi students can’t concentrate on their studies by immediately returning to their hostels and schools after the festivals, adivasi leaders point out.
Some of the leaders felt that the Gussadi dance training being given by Padma Shri Kanaka Raju and his team to adivasi students in tribal schools might affect their studies.
Students interested in such performances can learn these in their villages from their elders and local artists, they say.
Teachers are motivating parents to send children to tribal hostels and schools. Some of the teachers visit students’ houses and take them back to schools and hostels.
A senior Adivasi leader of Utnoor said their rich culture has become “excess baggage” for the adivasis. This prevents them from moving forward and excelling in education and employment in the government and private sector.
There should be a balance between Adivasi culture and their education for tribal empowerment and growth, he felt.