‘Tribalzone Magazine’, “Ah…… at last someone is taking pride of being an Adivasi and doing something for our upliftment”. This was what I thought as I held a copy of the magazine in my hand. I flipped through the pages and found it rather interesting. So I decided to write something for the magazine. But what should I write? A poem? ……. Nah! The problem in writing a poem is that; either the words would rhyme but the poem wouldn't make sense, or the poem would make sense but words wouldn’t rhyme. Since I feel that I am not much of a poet, I thought I should write an article. Alright then, ‘an article’. But about what?

Tribalzone….. Tribalzone…. Umm...The sound of it reminds me of my village. Ah…. My village…… a place far away from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai. A place where one can actually see the stars at night, hear the birds chirp and experience the pleasant smell of freshly watered soil. My village is almost like a small district, but I would like to call it ‘my village’ because it sound much more warmer. Speaking of warmth—That’s exactly how most of the people are, out there. I go to my village once in every one or two years. And as soon as I get there: there are tons of people waiting to shake hands with me and say the famous ‘Jai Jesu’. After I am done with all the handshake, kissing and hugging, which; I have to admit, sometimes makes me feel like a star, I freshen up and have my dinner. Then I talk to my grandma and grandpa for a while and go to sleep. Next day I get up all excited and go to brush my teeth at the well, and keep on wondering as to how the water in the well remains so warm despite the chilly December morning. After breakfast the day is all mine. No routine to follow, no one to push me around and tell me what I should and what I shouldn’t do. I usually while away the morning by inspecting the house and searching for pickle jars (which my grandma prepares). By lunch time I am as hungry as a pig and I gulp down my food as fast as possible, then I am off to the garden to see if there are any ripe papayas on the tree.

Afternoon is usually spent lazying on the ‘khatia’ outdoors under the shade of a tree. When it is 4 or 5 in the afternoon, I go and water the garden.. And by watering I mean getting down and dirty, playing with the mud and gathering any vegetable or fruit that is ready to be plucked. I then clean up (only because my mom insists me to). After that I ask someone to light the ‘lakdi choolah’ outdoors. I cook the vegetables that I had collected and make everyone in the house to eat the vegetable curry. it is far from being called delicious because either it is half cooked or pathetically burnt. After dinner we sit around the fire and talk halfway through the night, till 9 or 9.30 pm but it usually feels like midnight anyway. After all the conversation and star gazing in the night sky, its time to go to bed. Next day I get up excited allover again, still wondering about the warm water in the well, ready to start ‘my’ unscheduled day. Again…. Now that is what I call ‘Life’.

OK…. Enough of that. So now can anyone please suggest a title for my article? Anyone?

 

…..Winnie Elizabeth Toppo,
Age-16
Mumbai

 

My friends from Orissa are very brave. Though they are so young they did something that the entire village was unable to do. They are very courageous.

(Diary entry of a kid from an Orissa Project and her five friends.)

We were busy with our children’s committee meeting on 23rd October. At that time mother Veronica Munda came to us and informed that Byakhrist is in pain since 3 am at night. We decided to take her to the hospital since she is only 16 years old and it would be difficult for her to give birth to the child at home.

Her husband did not have money. So we all went to DISHA office in Bisra and informed them. Then we went to Jharbeda and took Byakhrist, her mother and her mother-in-law to the government hospital, Bisra.

Byakhrist gave birth to a girl child. Post delivery the doctor came and told us, “Give me Rs. 500.” Birzit told the doctor, “Sir, delivery should be free of cost and you are being corrupt.” the doctor instantly shouted and said, ”From where have you come? Who has taught you all this?” We replied that we came from Jharbeda, Mundatola. It reminded us of about Children’s Committee meeting where we discussed how we will not encourage corruption. We told the doctor that he has to give money receipt if we give him Rs. 500/- This is the practice that if somebody takes money then he has to give a receipt. The doctor refused to give a written slip and threatened us saying, “Go ahead, file a case if you wish to.”

The nurses also asked for Rs. 50/-. We did not give that too. In the evening we brought the mother and baby safely home. We were glad that we could do such a thing and hope that we can do this in the future too.

The villagers kept standing and staring at our courage and feeling ashamed of themselves .

 

Village: Jharbeda, Mundatolla, DISHA
Panchayat: Tulsikani
Block: Kutra
Dist: Sundargarh

We found this article in the issue of CRY in Action, 2006 (Child Rights and You)

 

 

TRIBALZONE is a place for all Chotanagpur tribals , regardless of blood quantum, to "gather" and to heal, and share their unique cultures, artistic talents and rich heritage.