GUWAHATI: Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the people of Northeast India on Sunday observed the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. However, this year, the celebration of the occasion was limited to webinars due to the prevailing situations of the coronavirus.
Talking to Time8, the Coordition Committee of Tribal Organizations of Assam (CCTOA) president Aditya Khaklary said, “Right of the indigenous people must be protected. Certain lobbies, getting support from the government are depriving the indigenous people from their given privileges in different ways. This must be stopped. We are still not safe. Widespread deprivation upon the indigenous people in many ways is a cause of concern.”
To mark the occasion, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu, in his tweeter handle, said, “Best way to preserve our unique culture, tradition, belief and values passed down to us from our ancestors are by keeping it alive. I am wishing all a happy international day of the world’s indigenous people.”
Joining the moment, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma said, “This international day of the world’s indigenous peoples, let’s get together to celebrate, promote, and protect the unique culture, tales and identities of the indigenous tribes residing across the northeast and the country.”
According to the United Nations, more than 86% of indigenous peoples globally work in the informal economy, compared to 66% for their non-indigenous counterparts.
Indigenous peoples are nearly three times as likely to be living in extreme poverty compared to their non-indigenous counterparts.
Globally, 47% of all indigenous peoples in employment have no education, compared to 17% of their non-indigenous counterparts. This gap is even wider for women.