Namath Basai: Kerala | 22 Aug 2020

The Kerala State government is carrying out a unique programme called “Namath Basai” of teaching tribal children in their mother tongue.

Key Points

  • 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.

Kurumba Tribe

  • 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

Source: TH