Namath Basai: Kerala
- 22 Aug 2020
- 3 min read
The Kerala State government is carrying out a unique programme called “Namath Basai” of teaching tribal children in their mother tongue.
- The programme is being implemented by the Samagra Shiksha Kerala (SSK).
- SSK is an overarching programme for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class 12.
- It aims at improving school effectiveness measured in terms of equal opportunities for schooling and equitable learning outcomes.
- It has succeeded in retaining hundreds of tribal children in their online classes using their mother tongue as language of instruction.
- Teaching in the tribal language has to a good extent stopped students from dropping out, which is quite usual in hamlets
- It offers pre-recorded classes through a YouTube channel in three tribal languages in Attappady valley in Palakkad District Kerala.
- These languages belong to the Irula, Muduka and Kurumba tribes.
- It is being introduced in the tribal belts of Wayanad and Idukki as well. Classes are offered in the Oorali, Muthuvan and Paniya languages in Idukki.
- Wayanad has the highest number of tribals in Kerala followed by Idukki.
- Popularly known as Mala Pulayans, Hill Pulayans and Pamba Pulayans.
- Traditional occupation : Foraging and shifting cultivation
- Collect forest products like honey, wax, soapnut, turmeric, ginger and wild cardamoms.
- Art of body tattooing.
- Skilled in manufacture of baskets and mats
- Religion: Animism (belief in spirituality of objects, places, and creatures) and Totemism (Worship of any species of plants or animals thought to possess supernatural powers)
Irula or Irular Tribe
- Occupation: Agriculturists
- Grow Paddy, Ragi, dhal, plantains, chillies and turmeric
- Religion: The majority worship Vishnu under the name of Rangaswami and Siva without differentiation.
- Some practice animism and worship the tiger.
Mudugars or Muduka
- Have social divisions at kal (clan) level.
- Traditional Occupation: Food gatherers and hunters.
- Religion: Hinduism
- Worship Shiva