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Tribals programmes Tribals : Funding proposals by various stakeholders


However, the community was strong in its demand and felt that the community health programme needed a hospital of its own to make it much more effective and acceptable to the people. So, they started a search for suitable people. Again as a curious coincidence, there landed up a doctor couple, Shyla and Nandakumar, willing to be part of the health programme. Having the ideal combination of skills as Gynaecologist and Surgeon, they were what the "doctor ordered" and the people were looking for ! Young adivasi girls were identified by the sangams and the new doctors started training them as nurses. Thus was born the "Gudalur Adivasi Hospital" [GAH]. In 1990.

With the establishment of the Hospital, we realised that this intervention is going to continue for a many years, and structurally it has to be different from that of ACCORD or AMS. So, the health programme, activities and the staff were hived off from ACCORD and a separate legal entity called ASHWINI was registered. From then onwards, Ashwini took care of the health issues concerning the adivasis and poor people of this area. While Deva and Roopa continued their focus on the community health programme, Shyla and Nandakumar started training tribal girls as Nurses. It was a major cultural change for the girls - from innocent village life to a three-shifts-a-day routine in the hospital. Training had to start from elementary Maths and English.

These adivasi nurses have come a long way in the next 18 years. They have become experts in conducting deliveries, in assisting the doctors in surgeries, in the general administration of the hospital, in ordering and managing the drug stocks, in designing systems to monitor the performance of the hospital (All the patient details have been computerised after 1996) and in analysing the financial aspects of the hospital management. They are constantly trained and their skills are upgraded to keep up with the growth of the programme.

Today, the Adivasi Hospital is one of the most sought after hospital in the Gudalur valley, not only by the tribals but also by the non-tribals of the local area. Patients are brought from distant villages by ambulance and good quality care is given. As all the staff are from the community and can talk the tribal languages, the tribal patients feel at home. Efforts were constantly made to keep the place culturally acceptable to them and the community gradually adjusted to the change. Today, there are cots in the hospital, they come forward for surgeries and many of them regularly show up for antenatal checkups etc. Some more young doctors came and worked in the hospital for brief periods - the health team getting enriched by the interaction with each of these doctors. Some quantitative details on the functioning of the hospital are given in the Statistics section.


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Citigroup India

Small And Marginal Tribal Farmers Mutually Aided Cooperative Society
The Araku valley in eastern Andhra Pradesh has the perfect climate to grow coffee and the crop is a major source of income for the tribal communities who live there. However, without advanced crop management
skills, processing facilities and large volumes of production, the returns on the crop for individual tribal farmers’, were low and erratic. In 2007, with help from Naandi Foundation, the farmers formed their own cooperative called Small and Marginal Tribal Farmers
Mutually Aided Cooperative Society (SAMTFMACS).

Today more than 11,000 farmers are part of SAMTFMACS whose mission is to improve the livelihoods and incomes of tribal coffee growers in the Araku Valley. It procures coffee fruits straight from the farmers,
processes them at its centralized processing unit, and sells parchment coffee (semi-finished coffee beans) to fair-trade buyers or exporters. Its member-farmers have access to advice on crop production, training
in best cultivation practices, organic certification services as well as interest-free pre-harvest advances. The community enterprise has both Organic and Fair Trade certifications.


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Dhas Gramin Vikas Kendra

Tribal Cultural Rejuvenation
The Bhil tribals have a tradition of cooperation in cultural economic and social spheres. The greatest thing about them is that they have communitarian system of entertainment linked to their livelihoods and their religion. In the celebration of the Indal a family gives a feast to the community in which it expends all its surpluses. The whole community gathers together to celebrate in song and dance and offer praise to the God Kansari who is the symbolic representation of the staple cereal sorghum. In this way surpluses are not accumulated and the egalitarian nature of the Bhil society is maintained. However, with the advent of the market economy and the penetration of populist entertainment through videos this culture is decaying.DSC05955

The Dhas Gramin Vikas Kendra has tried its best to revive and rejuvenate the traditional cultural forms. There is a community form of the Indal festival. With the increasing poverty of the tribals the individual Indal festival has become a rarity. So the DGVK has mobilised people to get together to celebrate the gaon gondlia indal or community Indal. Moreover the orally recited epics of the Bhils or gayanas have been recorded and transcribed and are in the process of being published. In this way even if the traditional bards slowly pass away their epics will still remain. These epics and their songs are used creatively to create new songs that are a major attraction of the political movement for rights. Songs have been composed encouraging people to save the forests and their land and water. The Khedut Mazdoor Chetna Sangath also organises a jungle mela or forest fair in which traditional culture and traditional tribal economy are highlighted.

The DGVK and KMCS recognised the importance of networking for small organisations very early on. The DGVK initiated a process of bringing together like minded NGOs in Jhabua and Alirajpur districts as early as 1991 under the federation “Jhabua Jodo” or unite Jhabua. The intention was to create a forum in which NGOs could discuss their problems and also launch common programmes. This federation was very successful and is active even to this day. Many new social workers were enthused to set up NGOs and begin working for the betterment of the livelihoods of the Bhil tribals.

The KMCS has been even more active in networking because that is the only way in which rights based actions can be made fruitful in the face of opposition from vested interests in society and the government. The KMCS collaborated with the Narmada Bachao Andolan from 1985 onwards to fight for the rights of the oustees of the Sardar Sarovar dam being built on the River Narmada and that collaboration continues to this day. In 1988 the KMCS initiated the process of bringing together all the various rights based mass organisations of western Madhya Pradesh under the federation Jan Mukti Morcha. Public rallies and workshops were conduced under the aegis of the Jan Mukti Morcha so as to build up a wider organisation. Later the KMCS joined the even larger federation Adivasi Ekta Parishad (AEP) in 1994. The AEP is a federation of tribal rights organisations in the four states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and has a mass base of lakhs of tribals. The KMCS has organised big demonstrations and public meetings under the banner of AEP in Alirajpur and Jhabua districts. The KMCS has also aligned itself with international organisations for the rights of tribals like the Survival International. Thus networking has been used effectively to enhance the impact of the work being done.

Finally the KMCS has also promoted other tribal rights organisations in the region to broaden the mass base of rights actions. Activists from the organisation went to Dewas and Khargone districts in 1995 to set up the Adivasi Morcha Sangathatn and Adivasi Shakti Sangathan respectively. A separate organisation called Kansari Nu Vadavno was set up to fight exclusively


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