A 32 member delegation included academicians, writers and environmentalists. Providing details of the camp, Dinesh Holla, convener, Sahyadri Sanchaya, said, “We wanted the children to have a better understanding of the environment especially understand the life and culture of the tribals because they are the true protectors of the forest.”
The interaction with the nightingale of the Halakki Vokkaliga tribes, Sukri Bommagowda along with Padmvathi Gowda, Ruchi Gowda and Parvathi Gowda was an eyeopener. The students learnt about their food habits, dress, culture and their struggle in Ankola. They then visited Yellapur where they interacted with prominent Siddi community leaders including senior leader Diyago Basthayav Siddhi. “The students were shocked to find out that this community continues to be oppressed and exploited. Many of them narrated their struggles and how they form an important vote bank and are forgotten post elections.”
The students encountered language barriers during their interaction with the Kudubi community in Joida as they spoke Marathi. “We had told the students that this is not a picnic. The idea is to document the lives of tribals. This is only a glimpse of their lifestyle. There are many tribal communities in Dakshina Kannada district,” said Holla, adding that students should take up more such study tours so that the world gets to know and understand the pain of the tribals.
Every day, experts including Nada Maninalkur, Rohini MP and academicians would guide the students through interactions.
“We would be documenting the tour in the form of short documentaries and articles. We hope to make this an annual event. Life of the tribes is a different world. They are happy in their world and the barter system continues to exist, “said Anil V Cherian, lecturer in economics, who took the lead in organising this tour through the trekking and cycling club of the college.