President of India, Droupadi Murmu inaugurated the Aadi Mahotsav 2024 at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi today (February 10, 2024).
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that our country is full of diversity. But the sentiment of ‘unity in diversity’ has always been present. The reason for this sentiment is our enthusiasm to know, understand and adopt each other’s traditions, food and language. This feeling of respect for each other is at the core of our unity. She was happy to witness the unique confluence of tribal culture and heritage of different states at the Aadi Mahotsav. She said that it is a good opportunity to get acquainted with the lifestyle, music, art and cuisine of the tribal brothers and sisters from every corner of the country. She expressed confidence that people will get an opportunity to know and understand many aspects of the life of the tribal society during this festival.
The President said that as modernity progressed, it has caused a lot of damage to Mother Earth and nature. In the mad race for development, an atmosphere was created to give credence to the belief that progress is not possible without harming nature. Whereas the truth is the opposite. Tribal communities all over the world have been living in harmony with nature for centuries. Our tribal brothers and sisters have been taking care of the surrounding environment, trees, plants and animals in every aspect of their lives. We can take inspiration from their lifestyle. Today, when the whole world is trying to solve the problem of global warming and climate change, the lifestyle of the tribal community becomes even more exemplary.
The President said that technology – an important contribution of the modern era – has made our lives easier. It is not right that our tribal community be deprived of the benefits of modern development. Their contribution has played an important role in the overall development of the country and will continue to play an important role in the future also. It should be the endeavour of all of us to use technology for sustainable development and all-round development of all the people of the society, especially the deprived sections.
The President said that India has a priceless storehouse of traditional knowledge. This knowledge has been passed down traditionally from one generation to the next for decades. But now many traditional skills are dying out. This knowledge tradition is in danger of extinction. Just as many flora and fauna are becoming extinct, traditional knowledge is also disappearing from our collective memory. Our effort should be to accumulate this invaluable fund and also use it properly as per today’s need. Technology can play an important role in this effort also.
The President appreciated the launch of the Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Tribes (VCF-ST). She expressed confidence that this will promote entrepreneurship and start-up culture among the people of ST community. She urged the youth of the tribal community to take advantage of this scheme and establish new enterprises and contribute to building of a self-reliant India.
The Aadi Mahotsav is being organized by TRIFED under the aegis of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs with aim to showcase the rich diversity of India’s tribal heritage. This year this festival is being organized from February 10 to 18, 2024.