<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The word ‘Samvaad’ can be roughly translated as a ‘Conversation’. Typically, a conversation requires two or more parties – unless one is referring to a soliloquy or an intense reflection within oneself. I am keeping my fingers crossed as I plan to embark on one such inner journey.But, for now, if we wish to facilitate the cross-pollination of ideas, wisdom and worldviews that run the risk of being lost, we need to create spaces for such a healthy exchange, among dialogue, discussion and dissent. Spaces that put people at ease to express their perceptions and experiences, and concerns. Such spaces would facilitate intense listening, caring and sharing. Just as infrastructure development entails brick and mortar, nation-building requires the building blocks of dialogue, discussion and dissent leading to collective resolutions, breakthroughs and progress. This is important in a diverse country like ours. This collective consciousness can also help remove prejudices, build new bridges and instil hope and optimism.Last week, I got to taste the flavour of one such grand conversation or Samvaad, which was focused on tribal people across the globe. This saw the coming together of over 1,500 tribal men and women of about 100 tribal groups from 22 states of India and some from Australia, Canada, Zimbabwe, Laos and Kenya. Organised by Tata Steel in Jamshedpur, Samvaad has been a regular annual event, held from November 15, the birthday of the tribal hero, revered as Bhagwan Birsa Munda.‘Aspiration of Tribal Youth and Leadership for Future’ has been this year’s theme. Showcasing a variety of tribal handicrafts, medicine, cuisines, sports, art and culture, Samvaad has come to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for exchange across dimensions of tribal life and culture. Workshops on topics ranging from social entrepreneurship, malnutrition, environment, introspective theatre and livelihoods were also held with many practical insights on how to address these challenges in tribal communities and spawn new success stories.In keeping with the spirit of Samvaad, top musicians like Pt Nayan Ghosh, (Sitar), Pt Pushparaj Koshti (Surbahar), Pt Nityanand Haldipur (Flute) and Pt Ulhas Bapat (Santoor) ferried the participants in their inner journey and Samvaad, too, through meditative and contemplative music.While every aspect of this event had something refreshing, I particularly loved the simple yet powerful personal narrative of the legend, Tulasi Munda, affectionately called Tulasi Aappa from Keonjhar, Odisha. As she pranced up and down the stage, with her cloth bag slung across, the 70-year-old Padma awardee was as fiery as she was authentic, confident and compassionate. Inspired deeply by Vinoba, even though she was herself uneducated, she decided to educate tribal children with whatever she knew and learnt. She has educated thousands of underprivileged since 1964. ‘Give, give and give’ was her message. Whatever is given with good intention will empower the giver to give even more, she said with great faith. Following the message of Tulasi Aappa’s life, if each one of us made an inventory of what we can give, we ourselves would be amazed. We can increase the spirit and quotient of giving by liberally offering knowledge, skills, education, insights, information, art, craft or resources to those who need these. There is, perhaps, no one who cannot offer anything.Can we create spaces all around us for such conversations or ‘Samvaads’ to happen? Can we embark on this journey of giving to make a better world and spread the Joy of Giving and Living?

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Collective consciousness for new way ahead