Tata Steel kickstarted the fourth edition of its five-day tribal festival in Jamshedpur on Wednesday, with 103 tribes from across the country and many from overseas slated to showcase their indigenous culture.
‘Samvaad’, from November 15 to 19, will see tribal representatives from countries like Australia, Canada, Kenya, and Zimbabwe – representing four continents – participating in it. Laos is another Asian country whose tribals will take part in the festival.
It has been themed around the topic ‘Aspiration of Tribal Youth and Leadership for Future’ this year and will have tribals display their unique mock warring and gaming spectacles during its course.
Naga Wrestling of Chakhesang tribe, Nagaland; Hambi Kepathu of Karbi tribe, Assam; Kati of Santhal tribe, Jharkhand and Odisha; and Sekkor of Ho tribe, Jharkhand will be performed.
Speaking to reporters, Sunil Bhaskaran, vice president, corporate services, Tata Steel, said, “This is the fourth edition of Samvaad and the theme for this year welcomes tribal youth to share their personal stories. We look forward to cross-pollination of ideas and participation of tribal leaders not just from India but from five different countries as well.”
Another company official, considered to be the architect of the entire enterprise, remarked that those who were sceptical earlier of the event were now lining up to be a part of it.
“Those who expressed their doubts sitting on the sidelines are now wanting to be our partners seeing the success of the festival… With Samvaad, we have come to grow a firm belief in the power of dialogue and the idea that discords can only be solved through communication,” Biren Bhuta, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) chief of Tata Steel, said during a press meet.
Nobel Laureate Muhammed Yunus from Bangladesh and Padma Shri awardee Shantha Sinha – a child labour activist – are also scheduled to speak on tribal issues during the event.
Talking to The News Mill on the sidelines of the North East India Fashion Week in Itanagar recently, folk musician from Manipur Guru Rewben Mashangva said that the festival is a unique opportunity to interact with the tribals from around the world. “I am very happy to be a part of the event. This is a great learning experience. I will be presenting my songs in front of a huge audience and am hopeful that this year too the festival will bring in people from around the world,” said Guru Rewben Mashangva who will be performing at the festival.