Showcasing the Gond way of life!

In terms of numbers, the crowd at the air-conditioned, first floor hall of Goethe Zentrum here was not much. But each one of those who turned up were photographers of sorts, or those with the ability to appreciate good pictures or those with a fair degree of interest and knowledge of ‘adivasis’.

On showcase were 35 beautiful pictures that vividly depicted practically every aspect of the primitive, yet contented lives of the Gonds in Adilabad district. And each of the photographs were shot by Senior Assistant Editor of The Hindu, Sardar Harpal Singh, using incredulously, not an SLR (single lens reflex) camera but just an aim-and-shoot Sony Cybershot.

The 35 photographs showed as many facets of what the United Nations calls, people of ‘indigenous’ origin, but who are normally referred to as ‘tribals’. Consider this — there was a photograph of a Ghusadi Tado branding a patient with a hot iron to treat his patient of pain in Morlavai village. Then another visual showed the Gond’s dependence on cattle for farming. It is not just dependence, but a reverence of sorts that shows a farmer paying obeisance to the bullocks in a village, just before the start of pre-sowing operations.

With several remote areas still unserved by the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation, a photograph showed the Gonds use their bullock carts travelling anywhere between 50 to 100 km from surrounding habitations, to the Jangubai cave temple ! The evening concluded with a scintillating concert by a quintet from the Thotti tribes, part of the Gonds, led by 70-year-old Kumra Lingu.

Among the guests present were Advisor to Government B.V. Papa Rao and Collector-Mancherial and Project Officer, Integrated Tribal Development Agency-Utnoor, R.V. Karnan.

Earlier, Director-Goethe Zentrum, Amita Desai said Wednesday marked the 10th year of the United Nations’ 10th International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (tribals). Indigenous people in India comprised slightly over 8.6 per cent of the country’s population and about 5 per cent of the world’s population, she said.

Mr. Harpal Singh gratefully acknowledged the contribution he got from Guruji Ravinder Sharma for showing him a different perspective into the lives of Gonds, well-known photographer from Hyderabad Lakshmi Prabhala and Srikanth Nippatla for printing and aesthetically framing the photographs.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 9:23:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/showcasing-the-gond-way-of-life/article19460074.ece

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