Lanjigarh: Indian Government has been keenly working towards the welfare of tribal population in the country - their health, education, nutrition, and overall upliftment. These tribals have been hiding from the main stream for long now. When the country is seeing overall development, there is a necessary need to bring them as well in the main stream and particularly their children, who are far away from quality education.
The uneducated parents have left their children deprived too of quality education.
State Odisha happens to be topping the list of States that houses highest population below the poverty line and also in case of tribal population - mentions the recent study by UNICEF. The report also mentions that Odisha is also the State where tribal communities constitute almost half of the state’s poor population. The literacy rate in these communities is among the lowest in the country with high numbers of school dropouts.
Even after knowing all this, there are still many voices who insist on NOT TO BRING THESE TRIBALS IN THE MAIN STREAM and want to neglect them, leave them, where they are and how they live. The districts of Kalahandi and Rayagada where the Dongria Kondh and Kutia Kondh tribes reside, the belief is still alive to keep the medicine on the roof-top for the almighty to eat for their cure.
VEDANTA KHUSHI campaign has reached these tribal areas and through consistent counseling has pursuated the children of tribals to go to formal schools. These tribal children belong to Bissumcuttack, Muniguda and Kalyansinghpur blocks of Rayagada district which is predominantly inhabited by Dongria Kondh community. Now these tribal children demand education.
100 tribal and backward children would now be going to formal school. They are being provided quality education through "Kalinga Institute of Social Science (KISS)", Bhubaneswar. All the students have been provided with free uniform, books, stationery items, boarding and lodging facilities, as part of the academic support.
The Kalinga Institute of Social Science (KISS) has been formed with the objective to bring tribal children into mainstream education with adequate facilities in a sustainable environment that would ensure a new beginning and a bright future.
In the first phase of the initiative, 63 tribal students in the age group of 5-8 years have been sent to this Institute. The rest 37 students would be sent in the second phase.
When we know that India houses the maximum number of children in the world and also that 1/3rd of the malnourished children live in India, and further that there are States who are high on tribal population, all of us, including the Government, Corporates and people at large need to come forward and be part of this change.