If Newton never told anybody about the law of gravity, if Edison would have only lit his own house, the world would have remained untouched by their brilliant ideas and minds. If Mittal Patel had not brought the plight of the nomads the 8 -10% of our population we they would exist as another exploited statistics of the invisible indian.
However, Mittal in all her zeal is bringing them to mainstream, life which is already over flowing and their marginalization would only be emphasized.
If we as the citizen’s of this country, could acknowledge and accept of these people in their authentic form it would be great. Asking them to stay put unless it is their choice would be as unjust as asking anyone else to change their lifestyle, or asking the river not to flow.
No, don’t holler that I do not want their development. Bringing them out of their dark corridor is essential, but alienating them from their culture is not right.
I make this statement on the basis of a study done in Gujarat of the women who did unorganized sector work, including sanitary management. One of them actually told the social scientist, that the educated woman comes here talks to us about empowerment and gives us a sewing machine, I would appreciate it more if the mobilized something to address our concerns, that are as basic as who will tend to our young and old when we are at work.
Most of these nomads are skill workers, there are folk skill centres set up by the government of India which urban elite is hitch hiking as funding for their research, but these centres could be tapped to reinvent the existing skills and market them to the country first and then to the world.
To change the nomadic life style should be their choice and not something forced on them by the so-called educated society.
WHO has an inclusive program for the nomadic tribes round Europe that keeps their cultural ethos intact yet ensures that they are part of the political scenario. With the advent of the centralized citizen ship documents with biometric coding these are issues that become non-issues.
Great work Mittal, now it is time to ensure that their individual unique culture, identity and communal dignity is restored.
This is our investment in our culture and identity for posterity, http://www.ftideacaravan.com/