From Vice Chancellor's Message
Gandhiji had established Gujarat Vidyapith in the year 1920 to prepare workers for achieving democracy for our nation. Before Independence, Gujarat Vidyapith concentrated on issues like Independence, removal of untouchablity, Rural development etc. with a view to prepare workers for national struggle. After Independence also, Gujarat Vidyapith conducts certain courses with a view to induce workers to work for rural development at village level. Besides, it also conducts several activities in the area of rural development, people’s awareness etc.
At the time of Indepence, some of the political leaders, social workers and social activists were quite aware that some sections of the nation are socially, economically, educationally, politically and geographically spheres rather than in social one. In order to see that the study-based data in respect of these communities is made available and that such data becomes useful to Government / Concerned Tribal Development Department for formulation of policies and planning of activities; it was thought necessary that some institutional framework would be essential. As a part of this, the Tribal Research and Training Institutes were started in the country.
Dhebar Commission had visited in various tribal parts of the country to identify the areas where such Institutes should be located and had recommended that one Tribal Research and Training Institute should be established in the State having more than a million tribal population. According to the recommendation of Dhebar Commission and according to the decision taken by the Central Government, it was decided to establish one such Institute in the State of Gujarat. At that time, according to 1961 census. Gujarat State had tribal population to the tune of 2.7 million. Besides, the Government of India had also wished that such an Institute should be entrusted to such organisation which has a rural-bias and which is involved in working with backward communities. The Government of India had realised that in the State of Gujarat there is Gujarat Vidyapith which is a hub of constructive activities. Hence, the Government of India had suggested Gujarat Vidyapith to make a proposal to start Tribal Research and Training Institute in Gujarat. Gujarat Vidyapith, right from inception had maintained rural-bias approach; therefore, Gujarat Vidyapith thought this is an appropriate kind of activity suitable to its culture. It, therefore accepted the responsibility with pleasure. The Government of India also found a proper institute for proper type of work in Gujarat Vidyapith and hence entrusted the task to Gujarat Vidyapith. Accordingly, the Education and Labour Department of Government of Gujarat sanctioned this Institute to Gujarat Vidyapith on 16th July, 1962. Gujarat Vidyapith immediately started the Institute since 5th September, 1962. While all the Tribal Research and Training Institutes in other states work in liasion with Government Departments; this Institute of Gujarat functions in close co-ordination with a deemed to be University i.e. Gujarat Vidyapith. Besides, it assists the State Government by providing inputs related to tribal issues as and when required by the Government.
As per the original write-up about the functions envisaged through Tribal Research and Training Institute are three-fold viz. (i) Research (ii) Training and (iii) Museum.
1. Research :
As the very name of the Institute suggests, in total consideration of tribal life forms the area of operation for the Institute. The Institute, accordingly is very much committed to draw the attention of people towards tribal issues. The Institute also provides necessary inputs for formulation of planning to Government as and when required. The Institute has conducted 486 Research Studies on various aspects of tribal life.
2. Training :
The Institute undertakes various kinds of training programmes for employees working in tribal areas so that they get oriented about tribal culture, language, dialects and tribal issues.
Since inception, the Institute has conducted 118 training programmes to train class-I and class-II officers working in tribal areas to orient them about tribal life and culture. So far, more than 2200 Government officials have been covered in these training programmes conducted by the Institute. Besides, the Institute has conducted more than 200 training courses for rural level workers to orient them about tribal development programmes. The Institute has covered more than 14000 workers and office bearers under this training component.
3. Museum :
For introducing people of main stream communities of the society about tribal life and culture, the Institute has created a tribal village in form of a Museum. The kind of live life-size statues of tribal men and women with an authentic way of living dipicted in the Museum provide reatistic vision about tribal communities of the State. The Museum contain 22 various huts of actual copy of different tribes of the state with life-size statues of these tribal people. About 7000 people visit this Museum every year.
The tribal population of the State habitate in 14 tribal districts and 49 tribal talukas situated in the eastern strip of the State starting from Danta to Dangs. The remaining 15 percent tribal population habitate in non-tribal areas. There are as many as 26 distinct tribal communities. Among them Bhils, Halpati, Rathwa, Chaudhary and Vasawa are main tribal communities.
The dialacts, language, culture, lifestyle, music and art of tribal communities are distinct and are different than those of other communities of the State. Therefore, the initiatives and effords for their development and other details in respect of tribals are totally different.
About 17% of total geographical area conprises of tribal areas. The Government have initiated various schemes for these area, and for there people. The tribal areas and tribal communities have been developing rapidly for quite sometime.
In order to ensure that these communities as well as those working for these people donot remain unaware about various schemes implemented by Government and also to ensure that such information becomes easily available, such information is placed on Internet. Further, the E-Gram facility is made available to concerned people so that the information reaches to the villages situated in remote areas.
The Tribal Development Department has initiated to place information on Website in respect of the schemes of the Tribal Development Department as well as that of Tribal Research and Training Institute; so that people of other communities get aware and become partners in march of development. This is indeed a praiseworthy matter. The Website will be useful in popularising Research Studies, Training Programmes and Museum activity among researchers, scholars, students and other readers; which will also be useful to them in their own work.
I extend my heartful well wishes on the occasion of placing genuine tribal identity before the world on Website.
Dr. Anamik Shah
Vice Chancellor, Gujarat Vidhyapith, Gujarat