UNDP’s Diversity for Peace and the Institute for Environment and Development (IED) jointly organised a webinar titled ‘Tackling the Corona Pandemic with the help of ancient folklore of tribal people & building a prosperous society’ on Tuesday night to discuss how minimal numbers of tribal people were afflicted during the coronavrius period.
Barrister Raja Debashish Roy, Chakma Circle Chief in Rangamati Hill District, said, “A very small number of tribals were affected during the coronavirus period because the traditional beliefs of indigenous people have played a big role in building resistance. They have a historical experience to play a role in controlling epidemics like cholera, smallpox and Kala Azar.”
Pavel Partho, a nature researcher, gave an introductory speech at the event, hosted by senior journalist Munni Saha.
Bandarban Zilla Parishad Chairman Kya Shai Hla, Children’s Hospital Registrar Dr Gajendranath Mahato, Adivasi Women’s Network General Secretary Chanchana Chakma and F Minor Band vocalist Nadia Ritchil also took part in the discussion.
Raja Debashish Roy said, “We can adapt and practice these traditional beliefs and folklore of the indigenous peoples to survive the epidemic. Through this, we can learn from each other and at the same time, embracing the culture and education of our diverse society through mutual assistance.
Indigenous physician Dr Gajendranath Mahato said that the health practices of the diverse indigenous peoples of lockdown, quarantine, temporary isolation, especially epidemics related to diet and symptomatic treatment are ancient and these rules are more related to the primitive religion philosophy prevalent among the nations.
He said that when the lockdown started, the tribals followed their own hygiene rules but it was less prevalent among the new generation. He also blamed a lack of recognition and practice or state connections for this situation.