As mark of gratitude, adivasis name new village after former Collector

A part of the newly established Divyaguda hamlet in Adilabad.   | Photo Credit: S_HARPALSINGH

The aboriginal tribes in former composite Adilabad invariably acknowledge a good deed and they do so in their own unique traditional ways. But naming a village after a benefactor has never been a part of thanksgiving of the Adivasis, like what has been done by the 20 Thotti tribal families of Chinchughat in Adilabad rural mandal.

The Thotties have named their resettlement colony Divyaguda after D. Divya, the previous district Collector of Adilabad who was instrumental in allocating a piece of land for the purpose. This is a rare honour which has eluded even the likes of the legendary Austrian Anthropologist Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf who is considered to be the biggest benefactor of ethnic tribes in these parts.

The researcher has a street named after him in Marlavai village in Jainoor mandal of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district where he was based during his period of anthropological studies on the Raj Gonds and other tribes during the 1940s decade. The other instance of a place being named after an individual is naming Asifabad district itself after the legendary tribal martyr Kumram Bheem but, that was done by the government in his honour.

According to Sethu Madhav Rao Pagdi, a former civil servant who wrote about the naming of Gond villages in Adilabad in his book Among the Gonds of Adilabad, ethnic tribes named them after trees, fruits, birds and animals. There is no recorded instance where a habitation was named after an individual.

“We are grateful to her for solving our long pending problem by allocating alternative house sites. Our homes used to get waterlogged during the rainy season when the Gundamloddi checkdam overflowed,” recalled the elderly Thotti bard Kumra Lingu, of the reason for thanking Ms. Divya.

The present Collector A. Sridevasena visited the new colony of temporary structures a few days back in connection with distributing COVID-19 relief. She promised the tribals, who are ethnic bards categorised as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group owing to their utterly poor and backward condition, of providing all facilities in the new hamlet like power and drinking water. “The Collector has also assured us of getting 2BHK houses constructed on the sites,” pointed out Kudmetha Maruthi, a villager who was just through with laying corrugated tin roof on his hut. Each family has spent about ₹ 30,000 for erecting the new temporary homes and appealed for construction of houses at the earliest.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 4:29:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/as-mark-of-gratitude-adivasis-name-new-village-after-former-collector/article31520618.ece

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