An Initiative by: Dr Siddharth Gupta & Prateek Jain
“Sabars” have an age-old history of rich culture and patriotism. Their glorious history can be traced back to the mythical times of Ramayan and Mahabaharat.
It has been in scriptures that ‘Shabari’ who tasted Ber (fruit) before offering them to Lord Ram, so as to assure that Lord Ram didn’t have to eat sour fruit, hails from this tribal community –“Sabar Tribes”
Sabar Tribes, in British era had also offered strong resistance to the British Dominance and hence are amongst the 68 denotified tribes of India. Sabar tribes, though now less in number, reside in critical situation in today’s times and are on verge of their extinct as well.
Residing in village, “Samanpur” about 60 kms from Jamshedpur in State of Jharkhand, have not seen the light of civilization and are residing in paradoxical situation of poverty and illiteracy. Samanpur has no connectivity with roads and is surrounded by hillocks and deep forests. They live in small huts of three by four feet, which they could enter only by crawling into them, and was also told by Swamiji of the Sangh that they supplied food for the tribes but when food could not be supplied to them on time, they survived on dead animals and birds.
It has been a frightening truth about such Tribesmen who had once formed a proud ancient community and had braved the British on Indian soil.
But, there was a ray of hope, when a woman weaving a basket of Kanshi grass in one of the many shoddy dwellings, caught attention of Mrs Suchitra Sinha, Joint Director (Industries), Govt. of Jharkhand. She had skilfully bonded with the community and realized their immense creativity by upbringing artisans that fetched befitting results. Even though outcome not being significant due to lack of adequate funds, she selflessly took an initiative to promote the craftsmen and their intricate work in some of the Trade fairs and workshops.
Dr Siddharth Gupta and Prateek Jain (I.I.T New Delhi) realized the immediate attention to be rendered, dedicatedly took an initiative for the up gradation of this community, met the tribesmen and interacted with them.
Furthermore, under banner of SETU and Confluence India, a small workshop for Tribesmen in presence of Shri Jual Oram, Hon’ble Minister of Tribal Affairs, Govt. of India, has been organized in the month.
In presence of Shri Jual Oram, Hon’ble Minister, a workshop around five tribesmen displayed their immense creativity, dedicatedly creating fruit basket, lamp shades. The marketing policies under the banner of TRIFED have been discussed and emphasized upon by Hon’ble Minister.
Shri Jual Oram, Hon’ble Minister of Tribal Affairs has thereby marked a new beginning of a glorious page in the history of Sabar tribesmen, with the gleam of responsibilities endeavoured upon the initiators of Prateek & Siddharth.