Indian Adivasi Schools are Not Factory Schools

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We are deeply anguished and infuriated by the slanderous campaign on Indian Residential Schools for Adivasis as “Factory Schools” by Survival International (SI) NGO based in London that claims to fight for tribal peoples’ survival. The campaign initiated two years back openly calls the  Indian residential institutions of learning (both Government and Private) for the tribal children as “Giant machines of Indoctrination”, “Chicken Farms” and “Factory Schools”. Survival International unabashedly alleges that residential schools for the tribal children disinherit the tribals from their histories and make them feel ashamed about their culture and lineage. SI has been proliferating over generalised “rewriting of indigenous history experience in Canada” views and bringing Indian Government and private institutions working exclusively for tribal people. 

Contrary to all allegations, these schools sustain because of the indigenous control of education and the pride in Adivasi identity. The compulsions due to scattered settlement of tribal population in remote hinterlands and high probability of dropout from the schools has made India to take up residential school model for the education of the tribal children. Ironically, SI does not have any practical experience or real work on the field in India. They are ignorant of the ground realities in India and try to generalise the Canadian history with residential schools in India

SI is a wealth amassing NGO with a self-centric attitude, which believes that India is not capable of self-governance. With this callowness and condescension, Survival International continues to spread clumsily written accounts of individuals who have no experience in our area of work and defames the intent of the Government and the institutions that work for tribal empowerment. 

Despite constant efforts on dialogue with them, they have an attitude to hammer and slammer on school meant for tribals in India, Survival International has never responded. On the contrary it has belittled the tribal students, parents, guardians and tribal community in general with slanderous words. This is blatant disrespect of tribal identity. SI has shown no sign of humaneness to the poor children belonging to tribal communities in India despite working as an organisation that works for tribal rights and survival. SI has trampled the dignity of underprivileged  tribal children by mentioning times and again as Factory School / Chicken Farms. Is it not the case of dishonour to our country? We should not allow SI to fill their coffers by  exploiting poverty, hunger and deprivation in tribal people in India. 

How can an NGO draw conclusions without any practical experience or verification or any reason for the same purpose? It is throttling the right to speak up, education and dignity of tribal people in India. Survival International is calling tribal children the workers in the assembly line just because they think the tribal children are poor, do not have a voice and are ignorant. Such writings, campaigns of social media and selective support from academia for propagation of hate and underestimation of tribal people to have a control on themselves is highly condemned. No negative force like Survival International or the likes of it seek to deter India from achieving its constitutional promise of social justice. We will continue to work with more innovative pedagogies so that the Adivasi children know, practice and work for their language, culture, dance, music, clothes, folklores and everything associated with it. 

Hence all strategically planned and selfish attempts under the cloak of tribal rights should be severely condemned and strict action should be taken against such forms of ruthless slander. SI only aims to kill the future of millions of  tribal children in India in particular and tribal communities in general. Let us stand in solidarity with our tribal community and fight SI. 

Usage of terminology like Factory School, Chicken Farm for Indian Adivasi Schools by an International NGO that doesn’t have a base in India is gross injustice to the Adivasi Community. We protest. Shame - Survival International.