Irular Varungalam Society founded
the official registration of the Partner NGO of Zukunft Irular e.V. (Future Irular) is done. Irular women are forming the board.
That means: The tribal people themselves are deeply involved in there own development.
In this way a widespread severe mistake of development politics will be avoided. A lot of Partner NGOs are fostering a tendency to look after there clients and to dominate them.
These Partner NGOs produce paternalism instead to support independence and self-esteem.
But Zukunft Irular is not only working for the tribal population but cooperating with them. That is the difference – and it is a very important difference.
How can we help the Adivasi to survive?
The Situation of the Irular
There are five hamlets inhabited by Irular, an ethnic group of Adivasi Tribals. The parents and grandparents of these villagers had been driven out from forest and scrub areas, the natural environment of small animal hunters and gatherers, in the seventies. For this reason it was and is extremely difficult for them to win their livelihood. They work as underpaid coolies or for daily wages. A lot of them are undernourished and all are seriously discriminated. They are called “wild people” and offended as “not to be human beings but animals”. Most of them has never had any chance for an reasonable good education. So they are not able to read and to write, and that is making them to easy victims of exploitation.
Starting in the late nineties an European and an Indian NGO took care for some children of the Irular giving them a real good chance to visit schools. The most advanced hamlet is K. But in the moment these NGOs are forced to stop their activities for the Adivasi due to a serious lack of funds and also in Anthropology trained staff.
However there is a necessity to proceed with the educational support of Irular children, that offers a great chance for a positive development of these societies - and this means – clearly spoken - far a better live for the Adivasi people in future.
We want to do that!
We are wanting to point out, that the Irular are very friendly and nice people
- and extremely intelligent, as far as they get the right education.
Long-term objective of Adivasi support
1. The Irular should come in the position to have a good live with a reasonable income. That is to realise, if the children – girls and boys – get a good education.
Therefore they should be educated by school education, college education or vocational training to a standard, as high as possible according their individual abilities and motivations.
2. With the help of educated young Irular children, we should find and develop professional possibilities within the Irular communities.
3. We should in cooperation with the Irular enable them to protect their rich culture and religion. It should strictly be avoided, that the Irular lose their roots. Cultural change will happen every time and in a certain degree it may be necessary. But the change should be executed by the Irular themselves and not be forced from outside powers or authorities.
The general proposal: The economic situation of Irular Adivasi should be improved, without any damage for your culture.
Practical efforts to realise these aims
+++ One femal Social Specialist engaged by Zukunft Irular e.V. is present in K. always prepared to be contacted by the Irular. She advices the Irular parents concerning the education of their children:
+ Children that not yet are visiting school are sent by her to school .
+ Children finishing school and their parents get advices to upgrade school education or to undergo a vocational training. The advices lead the pupils to a level as high as ever possible. Important is the education of Irular teachers (to work later on with other Irular children) and Irular Doctors and Pharmacists (for practising English Medicine and Irular Herbal Medicine at the same time).
+ Tudoring and evening meal for the children coming back from school will be introduced again.
+ We encourage old Irular to teach the children Irular knowledge, handicraft and religion in a non formal way.
+++ The Social Specialist encourages Irular woman to proceed with the cultivation of medical herbs. The marketing of medical plants and products must be installed connected with a rotating loans program.
The intention is to create jobs within the Irular community, but also to protect the special Irular medical knowledge from being forgotten.
+++ The Social specialist should is helping to protect Irular culture and religion. She gives the Irular selfconfidence, so that they estimate their own tradition and their very modern and open social life (with a very flat structure) and will become more willing to cling on it.
Important is to encourage them to celebrate every year their big four day lasting festival in the Month Adimasam. That is a centre of their cultural and social live.
+++ The Irular women are founding a self support society as a Partner-NGO for Zukunft Irular e.V (Future for Irular). This is necessary following Indian law. The trust enables to receive funds from abroad. This society will exist as an independent Irular Organisation, working for the benefit of the opressed Adivasi and Dalit people.
+++ The Social specialist advices the Irular concerning all their needs: How to get tribal certificates? What to do in confrontation with authorities? What to do, if it will be necessary to go to hospital.
The temporal schedule
1. step: Advising the Irular concerning the education of their children.
Evening meal for school children. Advices for protect culture and religion.
2. step: Overtaking the lessons for small children. Marketing program herbal medicine for Irular women. Extension of non formal education.
3. step: Volunteers should come and teach especially the little ones spoken English.
English and writing lessons for grown ups.
This is allready achieved
1. Pre-schools are opened in 6 villages. Schol children get support.
2. The tiny children in this pre-school and teh schjool children get there daily food. So malnutrion with all its really bad consequences can be avoided.
3. The land, where live 22 Families in Sinna Kolamedu is newly registered for the names of the housewifes of the Irular families. That is important, because the families cannot any more be threatened to be driven away. (That has happened before!)