[Reader-list] Tribals, fishermen take classes for school kids

Rajendra Bhat Uppinangadi rajen786uppinangady at gmail.com
Mon Jun 7 21:06:25 IST 2010

Thanks, Peter,
for sharing these wonderful thoughts, and Kshemendra had asked in one of his
posts earlier about the woeship of Buffallos, may be I then thought it fit
not to respond, mainly because, the logic does not explain the emotions,
emotional expressions are often logic less., if not illogical.!

On Sun, Jun 6, 2010 at 10:32 PM, T Peter <peter.ksmtf at gmail.com> wrote:

> Tribals, fishermen take classes for school kids
> Express News ServiceFirst Published : 06 Jun 2010 12:50:23 PM ISTLast
> Updated :
> THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Environment Day celebrations took on a
> different dimension on Saturday at the Science and Technology Museum
> here, when the traditional knowledge holders such as farmers,
> fishermen and tribals from various parts of the State explained to the
> school students certain basic truths on how the hills, the rivers, the
> clouds, the wind and the rains are connected with the sea and how and
> why the various ecosystems need to be protected - the gospel of
> biodiversity.
> The technical sessions of the programme, inaugurated by Food Minister
> C Divakaran, began with a `chattupattu’, a tribal prayer to invoke the
> gods of the hills.
> Curiosity was instantly sparked among the children as to the
> accompanying traditional musical instrument, the kokkara.
> The tribals let a few children see it up close and explained that
> traditional medicinal practices were all half medicine and half
> prayer.
> Hundreds of city school students gained a lot of traditional knowledge
> and their scientific interpretations, thanks to a unique programme,
> `Let us talk biodiversity’ organised by the Centre for Innovation in
> Science and Social Action (CISSA) on the occasion of the World
> Environment Day.
> Of the three sessions on biodiversity, the first one, `kattarivu’, was
> on forest knowledge, where the kids got a wonderful exposure to the
> world of forest-dwelling tribals, medicinal plants, wild animals,
> pollution, dwarf elephants and even spiders from the interactions with
> traditional medical practitioners Lakshmikutty from Mottamood, her son
> Prasad and Chandrankani.
> Rare experience
> The children got to see the pictures of the very rare plants like
> Amrithapala, which is supposed to have amazing curative powers,
> according to the tribal lore.
> They also saw slides of ‘valiya arayan’ or Aristolochia tagala,
> ‘cheriya arayan’ or Aristolochia indica and Palakan or Humboldita
> anjengo, which Lakshmikutty said are widely used to treat snake-bites.
> S Rajasekharan, a senior scientist from TBGRI, who co-ordinated the
> event said that the research has found that Amrithapala has been found
> to be effective for ulcers and cancer-like afflictions. He also said
> that many diseases such as arthritis and cancer and lifestyle diseases
> are unheard of in the tribal hamlets.
> The scientific interpretations to the traditional knowledge made the
> sessions very meaningful for the kids.
> Sea-knowledge
> The session on sea-knowledge `kadalarivu’ was not just limited to the
> sea. Fishermen John J T, Joseph Lopez and M Ambrose talked to the
> students about the coral reefs, coasts, variety and depletion of fish
> stock, the waves, nature of the wind, nature of the clouds, rivers,
> rains, hills and their intricate relationship with each other. “What
> the fish in the sea feeds on, are the dead leaves and other organic
> matter that essentially comes from the hills through the rivers and
> the leaves of mangroves that abound the coast,’’ said Joseph.
> Echoing what Joseph said on the interconnections between the various
> elements of nature, co-ordinator
> A Bijukumar, a scientist from the Aquatic Biology Department of the
> University of Kerala, pointed out the possibility of a massive decline
> in the fish population of the State, if and when a river dries up.
> The fishermen also gave a detailed description about how clouds in the
> western horizon with a white streak of cloud running across along with
> a white sheen on the sea surface would surely mean rain and how the
> high crest of waves in the south to north direction would mean a rough
> sea.
> The Nattarivu group was represented by Manoharan Nair, Peringavil
> Sali, Gauri Kani, Malakhi Nadar, Divakara Panikar and Selva Raj and
> this group was lead by C R Rajagopal, director, Nattarivu Padana
> Kendram, Thrissur.
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