Soliga tribal woman shares her Republic Day experience in New Delhi
Mysore/Mysuru: Madamma, a Soliga tribal woman from Chamarajanagar and Nagaraj Gonda, a Gond tribal from Bhatkal, were super-excited for the unexpected fortune. They were selected from the State to attend the Republic Day parade in the national capital.
They also got a chance to meet the President and the Prime Minister at the event and be a part of the feast arranged by the President during their stay in the capital. Every year, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs invites representatives of tribal communities to witness the Republic Day programme. This year, the State picked Madamma and Nagaraj Gonda.
While Madamma hails from Hosapodu tribal settlement near Mookanapalya in Chamarajanagar, Nagaraj Gonda hails from Heribelu Halyani tribal settlement at Haaduvalli in Bhatkal district. Both of them successfully completed their journey and are back in Mysuru.
Yesterday, a media interaction was organised with them at Karnataka State Tribal Research Institute (KSTRI) in Kuvempunagar. Prof. T.T. Basavanagouda, Director of KSTRI, Joint Director Rajesh Gowda and others were present during the interaction.
The tribals flew to Delhi on Jan. 22 along with Liaison Officer Prabha who is a project coordinator of Integrated Tribal Development Projects (ITDP). Sharing their experience with the media, both Madamma and Nagaraj Gonda said that they flew for the first time in their life.
“When we travel in a bus, it is a back-breaking exercise due to bad roads. But inside a plane, not even a water glass shakes,” said Madamma, sending peals of laughter at the hall. They were taken to Taj Mahal in Agra and important monuments including Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament and Raj Path.
Soliga tribals have been living inside the forest in Chamarajanagar, Bedaguli, on the fringes of Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Tiger Reserve and tribal hamlets since centuries and they will have innate knowledge about the flora and fauna. Chamarajanagar itself is one of the most backward districts in Karnataka where all these decades, Government schemes, funds and programmes have hardly reached grass-root level.
“I am impressed by the cleanliness of Delhi and Karnataka is dirty. The roads there are spic and span. I have not travelled beyond Mysuru, Kodagu and Bengaluru and I found almost all the roads littered with garbage. In Delhi, they have maintained the environment well. The only issue that troubled us there is that it is extremely cold,” Madamma said.
Both Madamma and Nagaraj Gonda participated in the Republic Day parade and also reception hosted by the President and the Prime Minister and they wore their tribal attire. “We felt happy to display our dress in Delhi,” they said.
Even the Ministry of Tribal Affairs hosted a reception for tribal guests who participated in Republic Day Parade, at Chanakyapuri. This year, 63 tribal artistes and Liaison Officers from 22 States and Union Territories attended various official events connected with Republic Day besides calling on the PM.
Madamma is involved in creating awareness on education and social activities among Soligas of Punajanoor region. “A visit to Delhi has broadened my perspective and will help me to strive for women’s welfare,” Madamma said.