WITH INPUTS FROM RASMI PRADHAN AND PHOTOS BY RASMI PRADHAN
GANGTOK, 9th AUGUST 2018: A workshop on “World Indigenous Peoples Day” was held in Gangtok at Barad Sadan building conference hall at 10 am. The workshop was organised by the Department of Anthropology, Central University of Sikkim. Research scholars and professors from different departments attended the workshop with the aim to understand the theme of workshop “Indigenous Migration And Movement”.
The special guest of the programme were Prof. N. K. Paswan, Dean, School of Social Science (Peace and Conflicts Management Studies) and Pema Wangchuk Dorjee, senior editor Summit Times who is also a writer and an independent researcher.
The guest speaker Manashi Thami, PhD Research Scholar of Department of Anthropology presented a paper on Thami community (an indigenious people group of Darjeeling & Sikkim)
Dr. K.R. Rama Mohan (HOD Dept. of Anthropology) said, “Indigenous is a dynamic concept and not static”. As to what makes a community labelled as Indigenous, he added, “Indigenous community are isolated, illiterate and deprived of basic human right.”
The dignitaries released Student Newsletter named Mountain Hues from the Department of Anthropology. Dr. Newal Kishor Pawan discussed on four topics viz. Why we are celebrating International Indigenous day, How this day regarded by UN as world Indigenous day, Identity of Indigenous people of our country and what are the laws and provisions to protect the right of Indigenous people.
He also briefly discussed about Internal and International migration of Indigenous people which consist of Rural-Urban migration.
By the resolution (49/214) of 23rd December 1994 the United Nation General Assembly had decided that International day of world indigenous people shall be observed on 9th August every year with the objective to protect the rights of indigenous people all over the world.
Dr. Pawan stated that, in our country there are more than 700 indigenous community. He said that in India we call them by different names such as Adivasi,Tribal,Indigenous Community etc.
In India there are also separate laws and protection for indigenous people. He stated that the people who mostly migrate are the indigenous people and the cause of migration are unemployment, communal harassment, torture by law enforcing agency, rapid industrialization under the name of development etc.
He added that “shifting to urban area is a challenge to indigenous people”.
Dr Pawan also dwelt on the various Rights and Protections protections provided to the indigenous people. He said that the Laws and various Provisions provided by the Constitution for their betterment should by known to them.
Pema Wangchuk Dorjee spoke about the indigenous people of Darjeeling Hills and Sikkim. He especially spoke about the Lepchas and the Limbus. He said that there were more than 6 lakh people in Sikkim and a majority of them belonged to some indigenous group.
He also spoke about the Dokpa people who were indigenous to Tibet and Sikkim. He said that after 1962 Indo-Sino War the community were forced to live in Tibet.
The Workshop was well attended by the Students of the Department of Anthropology, Central University of Sikkim as well as students from various other departments including the Department of Mass Communication.
Bishal Joishi is a budding Journalism based in Gangtok. He is presently pursuing Mass Communication at a Masters Level in Central University of Sikkim