Adivasi is the name collectively given to the original inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent. The term Adivasi comes from the Hindi word adi which means ‘from the earliest times’ and vasi meaning ‘inhabitant’. The term was coined in the 1930s as a consequence of a political movement to forge a sense of identity among the various indigenous peoples of India. Officially, the legal and constitutional term for Adivasis is ‘scheduled tribes’. Although they are the original residents of the country, very little is known of their history.
Adivasis are not a homogeneous bracket. There are over 200 distinct peoples speaking more than 100 languages and varying greatly in ethnicity and culture. However, there are some similarities in their way of life and general oppressed position within Indian society. Even though Adivasis comprise 8% of India's population, which is 10.7136 crores, they are the most unsung and underrepresented of all the groups in our society. They have not been integrated into mainstream society and are perceived as the cultural ‘other’. Many organizations in present-day India are working to rectify the situation and bridge the gap between normative society and the Adivasi community.
One such organization is Adivasi Lives Matter (ALM), based out of Chattisgarh. They are building a community and providing a platform to mentor Adivasi youth at the grassroots level to share their own stories. Their project Adivasi Awaaz, in collaboration with Prayog, aims to help the Adivasi youth assert their identities through digital stories to preserve, promote and amplify Adivasi identity. They also provide an Adivasi Awaaz Media Fellowship, a joint initiative by Adivasi Lives Matter and Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), to document issues and challenges that affect the indigenous communities of India.
ALM is one to look out for Adivasi bloggers, vloggers, and influencers. If you are an Adivasi creator from Chattisgarh, Tripura, and Tamil Nadu who wants your voice amplified, join their training course. The 7-day intensive course will have training sessions with award-winning trainers who will guide you on how to become a digital storyteller. The applicants will learn how to use their talent and digital story-telling abilities to make content for a worldwide audience. Selected candidates will be invited to their training centers in Chattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, and Tripura where they will be trained in person by their team of experts. Each selected participant will be required to pay Rs. 1000/- to sign up for the course. Accommodation and food for the duration of the training will be provided.