(Tribal Development Program)
The Northeastern part of India is the home of several ethnic groups with their specific identities. There are more than 200 ethnic groups and sub-groups found in the N.E. Region. Among more than the major tribes are Naga, Mizo, Khasi, Garo, Bodo Kachari, Rabha, Dafla, Apatani, Abar, Mishing, Mishimi, Galong along with Mikir, Monpa, Singpho, Kuki etc. Tribals are the distinct ethnic groups who are usually confined to a definite geographical area, speak a common dialect, culturally homogeneous and a unifying social organization. Their religion, ways of living, social customs etc. has got differences that signify their community characters.
The N.E. region can be divided into two broad zones viz., (a) thinly populated hill area and (b) thickly populated plain area. The striking demographic feature of N.E. Region is that the hill areas of all the seven states are predominantly inhabited by hill tribes of various communities, while in the plains different non-tribal communities and plain tribal communities are dominating as major groups. Another important demographic feature in the region is that very insignificant numbers of S.C. population are found in the hill areas.
These groups have contributed variety and richness to the culture of the nation. With a distinct style of life and cultural ethos, they reflect sharp contrast to the general rural people of our country. However, very less is known about the culture, traditions etc. of these ethnic groups, especially about the minor groups, and hence there has been very little endeavor to preserve their specificity for understanding about heritages. It is very important to protect and preserve the culture and traditions of these ethnic groups so that rich cultural heritage of the country can be kept intact.
Dolphin Foundation has undertaken a program to study and document the traditional and cultural heritage of these ethnic groups so that they can be brought to forefront of the society.
Ongoing and planned activities :
- Profiling the cultural, socio-economic and demographic pattern of the smaller ethnic groups of northeastern region of India.
- Study, documentation and profiling of traditional use of handicrafts by the ethnic groups of northeastern region.
- Study and profiling about the forest dependent livelihoods of different ethnic groups of the northeastern region.
- Profiling the use of various traditional handicrafts by the ethnic groups of the northeastern region.
- To study the different folklore medicine, specially the medicinal plants, used by the tribal communities of the region.
- Study & profiling the traditional rituals of the ethnic groups.
- Disseminating the information generated by the program to all the sections of the society to make the people aware about the existence and culture of these ethnic groups.
Study and Development of Bodo Tribes of Assam :
Bodos are one of the major plains tribes of Assam. Dolphin Foundation has done commendable works for the development of Bodo Tribes of Assam for last 5 years period in BTAD (Bodoland Territorial Area Districts) areas. The program areas have been in the interior underdeveloped areas of the BTAD suffering from aftereffects of the long lasting Bodo agitation and insurgency problem. The priority issues and the interventions taken have been criss-crossing various fields of Foundation’s work in the areas.
Various activities were carried out during last 10 years and the major among them were – prioritization of underdeveloped areas, study and profiling of the socio-economic status of Bodo people in the prioritized areas, livelihood supports, capacity building, skill development, educational infrastructure development in rural schools, protection from wild animal depredation, awareness and education etc.