Agragamee’s work with the tribal communities depends on grants and donations from institutions, organizations and individuals. Agragamee welcomes any kind of support which will contribute to our cause.All contributions will be accounted and audited, subject to the audit and FCRA regulations of the GOI.
We invite you to join us in this cause for the underdeveloped and the downtrodden. Write to us after visiting our website, join in the discussions Forum; contact us, and let us know your comments and suggestions, contribute through donations, and grants, and help the tribal and other underprivileged communities fight for their rights.
Several issues of Survival and Subsistence of tribal peoples were addressed through the active and constructive collaboration of the State and Agragamee. Thus, bonded labourers were released from their enslavement, and rehabilitated through very forward looking Government Schemes, Wages were regularised, and tribal people began to receive the ‘Minimum Wages’ due to them for every day they worked, the wages were also raised by the government from Rs.6/- in 1985-86 to Rs.25/- and now to Rs.50/-
Our programmes of Primary Education with support from the Ministry helped to educate tribal children, and engendered the first generation of literates in several tribal Panchayats across the state.
Gradually, tribals became confident, and aware that they also had rights as human beings, and began to address issues more crucial and radical, and Agragamee’s efforts became a movement in the tribal areas, gaining wide recognition and acclaim for the outstanding support it had provided for these repressed and marginalised communities.
However, this was not viewed in a positive light by the establishment, as the market forces had begun to push for globalisation, and wanted to wrest the land and the forests in the tribal regions for their own profits. The State, bent upon engendering processes of globalisation and liberalisation supported the market forces, and ordered the poor tribal people to leave their land and homes.
The tribal people were rendered miserable by this. They had seen several of their communities displaced by industries, dams and mines in nearby districts and Blocks. They had seen how miserably they left their land and homes, to settle in an alien place with no friends, and no support. They had seen how such displacement destroyed these people, leading to the deaths of children, women and even men, and how several of the young girls were driven to prostitution. In their visits to nearby cities, they had seen their brethren eking out a miserable existence as servants, rickshaw pullers, kicked and abused by the well-dressed poverty just because they were now poor and helpless, and victims of a cruel fate.
The tribal people came to us to ask what is to be done. Agragamee helped them to use the laws of the country to once again stand up for their rights. The struggle was long and hard, people were jailed, people were killed by brutal police fire, but eventually the people won a small battle, and forced Norsk Hydro, an MNC from Norway to withdraw from its mining project in the Baphli Mali Plateau.
But, the war to preserve their resources, to just be able to live, is far from over for the tribal people of Koraput, Rayagada and Kalahandi. There are several more Multi-National Corporations who are more than willing to replace Norsk Hydro in the scramble for the rich natural resources, which the tribal people have preserved over centuries. The tribal communities despite their struggle and growing awareness have a long battle ahead of them, for which they need support. They have just begun to fight hunger and poverty and illiteracy, there is still a long way to go before they can get on to the road to self-reliance, and a reasonable quality of life.
But their bid for self-improvement, the long and arduous efforts that Agragamee has made to help them develop courage and self-respect, to educate them, to help them overcome their poverty is being destroyed by market forces will soon be rendered to nought. The tribals will once again be pushed back into want and hunger and a miserable existence. Nay, they will be forced into a life much worse than what they lived before, as market forces with the backing of a loan burdened state grab the last bits of resources from these communities, and push them into the slums of cities.
We appeal to you to step forward and help the tribal peoples of Koraput, Rayagada, Kalahandi fight this destruction of their environment and their lives, we appeal to you to join Agragamee in the struggle to help the tribal communities realise their human rights of living in dignity and peace.
This David (of tribal communities) against the Goliath (of MNCs and other market forces) can only be fought when these innocent Davids get the support and sympathy of Civil Society, of those who are concerned for a just and humane society, or those who are concerned for preserving nature, and living with her, and the creatures, and the beings she has nurtured and cared for centuries, including us, the human communities.