Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Rayagada, Aug 15:
There is a saying among tribals of Odisha: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together’. The essence of this tribal proverb was in abundant evidence at the first-ever get together of Lanjia Sauras and Dongria Kandhas at GCD Zilla high school, Rayagada organised on the occasion of 69th Independence Day, today.
There were 100-odd representatives from each tribe, besides the entire district administration, Rayagada Zlla Parishad and Municipality chiefs in the function today.
There was an exchange of gifts between the communities accompanied by joyous uproars. It was an occasion for friendship and camaraderie between communities and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
The encouraging response from the members of both the tribes, who broke their usual silence and expressed in their native tongue a willingness to cooperate with each other and the district administration was an inspiration for one and all.
The unique initiative was the brain child of Jagannath Mohanty, Collector, Rayagada, whose commitment to the cause of uplift of the tribals inspired all the participants.
Tribals do go by trust and most of the government’s tribal development initiatives have failed to deliver so far primarily due to a failure to win that trust. Maoists have exploited this trust deficit to their advantage. In this backdrop, the present initiative of the Rayagada district administration to combine ‘Bikash’ with ‘Biswas’ is expected to go a long way in bridging this trust deficit.