Date: 09.08.2013 – “International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples” has been celebrated at the Landiguda campus of Central University of Odisha today. As a part of the academic activities and to commemorate United Nation’s Declaration to celebrate International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples for its second consecutive decade, the Center for Tribal Welfare and Community Development (CTWCD), a pioneering Center of the Central University of Odisha, which is flourishing under the dynamic leadership of Prof.(Dr.) Surabhi Banerjee the first and Founding Vice chancellor is celebrated the Day in the presence of University staff, students, community leaders and social activists. The focus of this year’s International Day is “Indigenous Media, Empowering Indigenous Voices”. The international Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is commemorated annually on 9 August, in recognition of the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations, held in Geneva in 1982. The International Day as first proclaimed by the General Assembly in December 1994. There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in some 90 countries around the world. Practicing unique traditions, they retain social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. Themes for the today’s programme are Media coverage of Indigenous issues, Traditional/Indigenous Knowledge & Traditional Culture and Heritage. The programme was formally begun with the welcome address by Dr. Kapila Khemundu, Honorary Director, Centre for tribal Welfare and Community Development. The Guest of Honour, Mr. Palka Rabindra (OWS), District Welfare Officer, Koraput has stated about the empowerment of the people through various plans and programmes. He has also shared his practical experiences that are faced by the indigenous community all around the world.
The main attraction of the programme was Chief Guest Dr. Abhilas Nayak, Director, Regional Centre, IGNOU Koraput. He emphasized on the uniqueness of indigenous language and culture of the indigenous community. Unless the research and survey is done by the indigenous people it is very difficult to identify their unique cultural traditions and social problems. He assumed that, with the rapid growth of mass media and telecommunication, by the end of this century 90 percent of indigenous languages will extinct from the society. Media needs to capture the right issues, right subjects in right time appropriately and highlight it for the wider dissemination of the knowledge. He suggested to have a space in CUO website to highlight the indigenous problem under the caption “the Native Voices of Koraput”
There were list community leaders and social activists gave special note on the various problems of indigenous people. They are Shri Pradeep Khosla (Social Activist), Shri Trilochan Muduli (Social Activist), Shri Nabokishore Majhi (Auditor, Civil Supply), and Shri Raju Kuldip (Social Activist). Mr. Shivaji Kanhar, the President, SC/ST employees union of HAL and their colleagues, Mr. Sushant Kartik (former KILF President) and other social activists have participated in the programme.
The proceeding of the programme was managed by Dr. Aditya Keshari Mishra, Asst. Professor, Sociology and Mrs. Sagarika Mishra, Lecture in Sociology. The vote of thanks was offered by Dr. Aditya Keshari Mishra.