Monday, September 25, 2006

Tribal Aid and Research project (Chenchus)

There is no education than a native talent; all that is needed is nurturing it.

When is the last time you have thought of an Ekalavyaa or a Bhakta kannappa……

Don’t you think they deserve more?

The literacy rate is a meager 7-10% in the Chenchus, and with 3% in the net of the deadly TB and nobody (not even they themselves) to care for. The female literacy is still worse.

Chenchu – a primitive tribal group in the Nallamalai forest still depends on forest as their only saviour. To have a closer view of their life visit the gudem Mekallanbanda beside Srisailam temple a well-known Pilgrim spot and see the harsh reality of darkness.

Another illuminating example is except the native tribe Chenchus, all others are admitted in to the local Polytechnic College and when the first Chenchu was admitted here with assistance from Mr. Sharma other ST Tribals ragged him. The Chenchus are the original custodians of the Lord Mallikarjuna the presiding diety of Srisailam.

Seva Bharathi’s efforts first started off as a residential School for Chenchu boys and then after over an year in 2001-02, Seva Bharathi has taken up the awareness camps in all the 34 gudems in which 177 Chenchus participated thanks to the efforts of Mr. Sharma (a retired Regional Joint director, technical education) and support given by CAPART.

The problems are numerous from ignorance of the Chenchus, their reluctance to change the bad roads, miles to walk with no facility to reach the habitations, the red-tapism in the Govt. and you can visualize the nature of the work. The activity includes a Residential Hostel for 50 Chenchu boys, 2 vocational training centers for the women, 4 Tribal schools run by tribal youth trained by Mr. Sharma in alphabets and small things like community health, hygiene etc., Medical awareness and aid center. Also Community volunteers and health workers armed with the knowledge and kit to them. They work all the way for the betterment of their community with 100% commitment.

Tribal Hostel for the Chenchus: A residential school was started in a rented structure for Chenchu boys who are shy to face the outside world back in 1998. But as is known the tribe is very rich in cultural arts. The boys made their own clay idol of Ganesha for Ganesha chaturdi. They are good at hunting / archery and have won laurels at the district level. (Bhakta Kannappa Gurukulam) in Gokavaram with 50 Tribal Boys, another for the Gonds and Kollhams of the Adilabad district are being run at Manchiryal (Ekalavya Awasam) with 57 children.

The Tribal aid center has started a vocational training in different trades that can make the Chenchu boys self-reliant.

Vocational training center: Now a dimension added to the center is the vocational training center with a research dimension into the life style and tribal economy. The Chenchu children who are above 6th class are trained in Vocational trades for their own self reliance.

Mobile Dispensary: Seva Bharathi is now providing medical aid to the Chenchu hamlets thanks to the govt of India funded Mobile Dispensary. It has been treating on an average 6,000 Chenchu patients in Kurnool district

TB Eradication: Since TB affects 3% of the population of Chenchus an Anti-TB Treatment drive has been taken up. Reggular TB check-ups, camps, as well as treatment initiatives from the Dsitrict TB control society as a result of pressure from Seva Bharathi efforts.

Distribution of nutritious food: Seva Bharathi has also taken up the campaign against malnutrition in Chenchus. As a result 3 kgs of Rice,1.5 kgs of jowar, 0.5 kgs of dal and 14 eggs per week has been taken up. The result is there for all to see, a drastic fall in TB cases after one year.

Come forward to help us save a rich cultural life of these children of Mother Nature.

Location of the Project :
Somepally Somaiah Tribal Aid & Research Center
Sevabharathi Hospital, Gokavaram (Post),
Kothapally Mandal, Kurnool – 518422.
Ph No: 08517 – 242106


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