You are here: Home » Current Affairs » Coronavirus » News
Business Standard

Adopt good habits of tribal communities to keep Covid-19 at bay: Naidu

The tribal population in Odisha was largely untouched by the Covid-19 pandemic

M Venkaiah Naidu | tribal community | Odisha

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu

The tribal population in was largely untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic and their unique customary practices and traditions have helped them keep the infection at bay, Vice President said here on Saturday while citing a study.

The report by Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Research and Training Institute (SCSTRTI) noted that by habit, the tribal people maintain a reasonable distance from one another when they walk, he said.

"Such safe distancing and hygiene norms, rooted in the tribal culture coupled with the natural food, have helped them stay safe during the pandemic," Naidu said addressing the 50th convocation of Utkal University here.

Universities should focus on these positive aspects of tribal communities and include them in their curriculum, he said.

His comment came at a time when India on Saturday recorded 89,129 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily rise in around six-and-half-months, taking the nationwide tally of infections to over 1.23 crore.

is home to 62 tribal communities constituting 23 per cent of the state's total population.

"The development and welfare of these tribal communities should be our priority. We should approach them with respect and sensitivity. A paternalistic attitude is wrong.

"Truth is that we have a lot to learn from the tribal communities who live a simple life in harmony with nature," the Vice President said.

He also urged institutions like Utkal University to take up research on issues faced by tribal people and actively contribute to policy formation for their development and well-being.

Naidu also focused on the management of natural disasters that the coastal state faces regularly.

"You have seen regular occurrence of cyclones, floods and droughts in the state. Therefore, it is imperative to make disaster management an integral part of our education from the early days. This would prepare us better to face any such calamity in future. I hope Utkal University will take a lead in this regard," he said.

Naidu asked students to be sensitive to the needs of the excluded and said discipline, honesty and hard work are the keys to success in any field, including public life.

"We have great economic potential and can improve the human development index on all counts. We can fight hunger, disease, ignorance and every other evil that retard our growth," Naidu said.

Talking about the rich culture and history of Odisha, the Vice President said the great land of Kalinga taught the lesson of peace to Emperor Ashoka. He also lauded the daring seafaring merchants of Kalinga, who established trade links with various countries.

"I want you (students) to take inspiration from their stories and imbibe the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation. Our universities and educational institutions also have an important role in this.

"They should equip the students with requisite skills so that they can emerge as job creators, not mere job seekers," he added.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Sat, April 03 2021. 16:23 IST