The Department of Tamil, Kongunadu Arts and Science College, Dr. Aruchami Research Foundation and Tribal Research Center, Govt. of Tamil Nadu jointly organised a One day National Level Conference on ‘Cultural Practices of Tribal People’ on August 27, 2018. The inaugural function of the Conference commenced with an invocation. Dr.C.A. Vasuki, Secretary and Director of the college welcomed the distinguished dignitaries and dignified audience to the conference and also delivered the Presidential address. She paid homage to Former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee who was the pioneer in setting up the Ministry of Tribal Affairs as a distinct section. She further added that Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a visionary leader who took several key initiatives for the welfare and development of people, and through such initiatives, the tribal populace of the country benefitted immensely.
The Conference was inaugurated by Hon’ble Minister of State, Hon’ble Shri Sudarshan Bhagat, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Govt.of India. In his inaugural address; he expressed his contentment for being a part of this conference and appreciated the organisers for their initiative in the progress of the tribal community. Recalling the immense contribution of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee towards Tribal Development, he said that it was through his efforts and under his leadership, a separate Tribal Affairs Ministry was set up in the year 1999, through which the work of tribal welfare attained pace and momentum. The first Minister of Tribal Affairs Shri. Jual Oram, is heading the ministry presently. He also said that Central and State Governments are taking various initiatives for integrated socio-economic upliftment of tribal population of the country and effort shave been made to ensure that the tribal people were included in the growth process. In 2018-19 budget, funds was allocated to cater specific tribal development in various sectors through 297 different schemes for economic, educational and social development.
A souvenir containing the Research Articles of the conference was released by the Honble Minister and Mrs Vanathi Srinivasan, Advocate and Founder of People’s Seva Centre, Coimbatore received the first volume and Dr.P.Subramaniam, Director, Tribal Research Centre, Govt.of Tamil Nadu received the second volume of the souvenir.
In commemoration of this conference Kongunadu Arts and Science College and Tribal Research Centre entered to a Memorandum of Understanding for various collaborative research activities. On behalf of Kongunadu Arts and Science College Dr.C.A.Vasuki, Secretary and Director of the college donated furniture to tribal schools. Shri BS Chauhan, Trustee,Vanavasi Seva Kendra, Coimbatore and Dr.S.Bhakthavatsala Bharathi, Director, Puducherry Institute of Linguistics and Culture, Puducherry were the other dignitaries present in the conference .Tribal people from different zones such as Toda, Kota, Kurumba, Irulas and Kattunayakars displayed their talents and submitted their petitions to the Minister. Dr.V.Balasubramaniam, Principal of the college proposed the vote of thanks.
Around 135 research papers were received and the participants presented their papers on Cultural Practices on Tribal People in the parallel sessions which were conducted on morning and afternoon in the college premises. The valedictory function was conducted between 4:30 and 5:30. Dr. C.A Vasuki, Secretary and Director of the college, in her Valedictory address stated that it is our duty to assist them to acquire the basic amenities for their livelihood. Dr.V. Dayalan, Head (Retd), Department of Linguistics, Bharathiar University delivered the Special Address and distributed the certificates to the participants. Dr.O. Muthaiah, Professor, Department of Tamil, Gandhigram University, Dindigal and Dr.C.Bhakthavathsala Bharathi, Director, Puducherry Institute of Linguistics and Culture, Puducherry offered felicitations.