Discrimination against Adivasis
Though there are Indian laws protecting the rights of Adivasis, there is also a long and shameful history of discrimination against indigenous people, who are often referred to as “backward castes/classes”. This places huge barriers that prevent people from indigenous backgrounds from achieving well academically. Bodytree places no requirement that students must have completed their formal education before joining our project. Bodytree only insists on students being interested, engaged and passionate to learn. Our aim is that they will then go on to preserve and disseminate the practice of traditional aspects of indigenous culture that are otherwise disappearing.
Students are taught how to use Adi Yoga and Adi Ayurveda with other traditional and contemporary medical approaches, to address community health needs. They study the culture, traditions, art, architecture and literature of their own and other indigenous communities. They can learn about the practice of sustainable traditional agriculture, ecology, social and natural sciences, sociology, human rights and about the politics of medicine.
Bodytree offers resources that enable our students to become self-reliant. We help them build their self-confidence, so they are well equipped to pass on the knowledge and skills they acquire with us. Students learn to manage the centre, the accounts and administration. They learn to drive and to carry out basic vehicle and household maintenance. They learn to organise, lead and perform at workshops and events. They learn to prepare medicines, carry out treatments and give advice on primary health care issues. They learn to stand up for and defend their and their people’s rights and demand respect both as individuals and as proud representatives of their communities.
Bodytree student fellowships
Bodytree gives full-time student fellowships to committed young students from indigenous backgrounds all over India to become traditional medicine community health practitioners. So far, our students have come from four indigenous/tribal/Adivasi communities: Chakma, Kani, Paniya and Nayika.