World tribal day celebration: organizing the migrants, the unorganized sector

Justice & Peace

The World Adivasi (tribal) Day was celebrated on Sunday, 11th August, 2019, at St. Theresa’s High School, organized by St. Arnold Youth Group and Urban Community Development Centre (UCDC), Bandra (West). There were about 700 participants; around 600 adults/youth and 100 children. World Adivasi Day is the most looked forward event by the Tribal domestic workers and the unorganized laborers. The entire Event Management was planned by the Adivasi youth group.

The objectives of the event were: to recognize the domestic workers and unorganized laborers as workers; to promote, protect and harmonize the Art, Culture and Languages of the tribal community. (Migrants are mostly from States - Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, parts of Bihar, Assam and West Bengal); to bring unity among tribal people; to create awareness on human rights and duties; to provide a platform for development of tribal culture,to set up a platform to exhibit their talents.

The programme began with Mass with Fr. John Lugun, SVD as the main celebrant and Fr. Sunil Soreng, SVD, Fr. Sushil Xess, SVD and Fr. Cosmos Ekka, SVD as concelebrants. In his homily, Fr. Lugun spoke on the importance to create awareness and to sensitize vulnerable migrants seeking to pursue economic opportunities.The theme for the event was “Our Future is in Our Hands”. The session on the theme was well presented by Mr. Sunny Pawar (MSW). He mentioned that it is by education plus our determination and will power, we can create and change our destiny/future. He used a documentary to elaborate his ideas.

The cultural program at St. Theresa’s School Hall, began with a prayer dance by St. Arnold Youth Group. Culture and tradition play a big role in the development of tribal community. The tribal people - students, men and women performed variety of Tribal/Adivasi cultural dances displaying their unique cultural tradition. The chief guest for the day Mr. Ronnie Mendonca, the Chairman of the Governing Body of UCDC, spoke eloquently on the unity of tribal community. Also present at the event were, Fr. Paul Vattathara, SVD, Director of UCDC, SVD Lay Partners (DDW members) and well-wishers. The programme ended with sumptuous meal and a common Adivasi/tribal dance.

By: Cosmos Ekka, SVD
Urban Community Development Centre (UCDC)

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