The Birth and Growth of Assam Adivasi Vision 2020

The inception of AAV 2020 and its first workshop was held on 23 & 24 January 2010 at Adivasi Culture, Research and Training Centre, Dhekiajuli. Since then, altogether 19 AAV workshops were held in 8 different districts of Assam (1 in Shillong) - in which 553 Adivasi Intellectuals, College students, Govt. job holders, representatives of AASAA, AAWAA, Adivasi Sahitya Sabhas, NGO’s, leaders and common people from tea gardens and villages took part. In all of these workshops, the past and the present situations of the Adivasis were analyzed; every problem and issue was debated and discussed in detail. The suggestions and the solutions given by the participants were incorporated in the vision statements and affirmative goals. Many burning questions like “why the Adivasis of Assam are lagging so far behind in comparison to other rapidly developing communities?” “Who is responsible for their backwardness or underdevelopment? Who is keeping them suppressed, exploited, manipulated and marginalized? Is it the Adivasis themselves? Government? Politics? Tea companies? Or who else can it be?” “At the present situations, if the Adivasi community can develop, then what are the opportunities, pragmatic possibilities and options available?” When and how best can we make optimum utilization of the opportunities and the possibilities?” These and such related questions were meticulously debated and discussed. Whatever suggestions and solutions emerged in these AAV workshops were recorded and documented. In order that such myriad Adivasi issues and problems are not left out, it was planned

to group them in 11 different topics: 1) Schedule Tribe Status, [ST] 2) Education, 3) Economic 4) Politics, 5) Health 6) Social 7) Tea garden issues 8) Women empowerment and gender 9) Media and communication, 10) History & Documentation and 11) Language, Culture and sports. For each of these topics a committee called ‘AAV Sub-committee’ was formed who made further specific research, and making use of the data of the workshops prepared a scientific paper pertaining to their topic. Altogether there are 93 members in the 11 AAV sub-committees. Besides the workshops ‘questionnaires’ called AAV Formats’ were given away to individuals and organizations to identify and analyze various issues and problems, assess the past and present situations, find solutions and set aspirations and goals. Likewise the data collected from ‘AAV Formats’ were also incorporated in the AAV Draft Document. The three different formats/questionnaires used are: 1) INDIVIDUAL Format 2) VILLAGE and TE GARDEN Format, and 3) ORGANIZATIONAL Format.

The AAV Drafting Committee and Sub-committees:

Each AAV Sub-committees consists of members who have experience and interest, and are educated and well versed in the topic allotted. Each of this sub-committee has had a series of meetings, discussions, research and debates and has brought out the researched paper on their assigned topics. All these research papers and write ups have been collected, compiled into a book titled

Assam Adivasi Vision 2020 (The Draft Document). This is just the preparation to bring out the Final AAV 2020 Document later towards the end 2012. The Draft Document will be further debated; more facts and figures, goals and targets, suggestions and solutions, methods and approaches will be added to it.

The 9 th Adivasi Mahasabha and AAV 2020: The main theme of the recently held 9 th Adivasi Mahasabha at Doomni was AAV 2020. Accordingly, Assam

Adivasi Vision 2020 (The Draft Document was released and related AAV 2020 topics were re-discussed and debated by the representatives and participants in 11 different groups. Each group then came up with two brief vision statements (in two sentences) on the allotted AAV 2020 topics based on the AAV 2020 (Draft Document). Through discussions and debate in a general sitting all the vision statements of all the groups were synthesized and reframed into what is called “Preamble of AAV 2020 Document”. This Preamble was read and declared publicly in the open general session of the Mahasabha. By signing on the Preamble all the leaders of the Adivasi organizations present pledged to achieve its set goals and targets. The Mahasabha also took another important and vital decision that each year a topic will be chosen within the frame-work of AAV leading to 2020. And all the Adivasi leaders, Adivasi organizations, representatives of tea gardens and villages and college students present agreed and pledged to work united to achieve yearly goals. This year’s 2012 target and goal is to achieve ST Status within the year 2012. This is indeed the most historic decision.

What is the present and future set plans of AAV 2020?

The AAV 2020 (Draft Document) – which was re-discussed and debated in the delegate sessions of Mahasabha will be given away to as many Adivasis and non-Adivasi individuals and organizations as possible, Adivasis of tea gardens and villages; so that it is critically reassessed, rechecked and reframed, more suggestions and recommendations are included to make it fine-tuned, clearer, and practical and finally incorporate all these in the Final AAV 2020 document. Subsequently, the Final AAV 2020 Document will be referred to experts in the field before it goes for final printing. The Final AAV Document will also be translated into Adivasi languages like Adivasiya (sadri), Hindi, Assamese, Kurux, Mundari, Kharia, Santali etc. This will help more people to understand the AAV 2020 and actively participate to materialize its vision. The AAV 2020 document will be finally declared in a public grand function. There will be imposing show of 100 nagras and rapkas, 100 mandals, 100 kartals with one rhythmic beat. More than 5000 Adivasi college boys and girls from different parts of Assam will demonstrate the rich cultural Adivasi dress and ornaments. In the last stage, a State Level AAV coordination committee, District, Blocks, tea garden and village level committees will be formed to see to its implementation and follow up at all stages to materialize the set goals and visions of the Final AAV document.

The need, purpose and Advantage of AAV 2020

If the entire Adivasi community is to progress and develop as per AAV 2020 then its set vision needs to be implemented individually and collectively with convictions and enthusiasm. Having clearer, more precise, well thought-out vision by all Adivasis will mean full, optimum and maximum utilization of our intelligence, ideas, community strength and the community resources. The lack of strong desire and lack of vision will mean letting ourselves to weaken further and allow the individual and community resources and strengths un-utilized, disorganized, divided, and be continued to be exploited, suppressed, oppressed, manipulated, coerced by others and remain marginalized as has been hitherto. In contrast, AAV 2020 will help inspire, realize our deeply-buried inherent cultural strengths, help relive our dreams, to be ever alert, to be proactive and regenerate our lost self confidence and enthuse all the Adivasi individuals to work diligently and united towards the holistic and all round development of the individuals and the community. The major advantage of promoting and having AAV 2020 will be that our individual and community desires, purpose, motives, goals, visions will be unified and merge into a common goal, a sense of direction and unity of purpose. This will certainly be very effective in solving our individual and community issues and problems. Over all, amazingly it will enhance and hasten the process of realizing and achieving our own individual and the common community set visions. It will generate all the more interests and motivation to lay out collective concerted efforts to materialize the set visions leading to the year 2020.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”