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Fund 'Gusadi' to know the Indian Gond tribe better

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

For long, 'cliches' and 'stereotypes' have defined the Indian tribes, limitating them to an image of a snake charmer or people wearing loin cloth.

The scant knowledge of over 550 tribes that inhabit India is what compelled award-winning film maker Jennifer Alphonsse to make a documentary on the Gond tribe.

However, after two years of futile efforts to get sponsors, Alphonsse has now turned to crowdfunding on Wishberry to fund the making of the film.

Titled 'Gusadi' - a traditional dance form of the indigenous Gond tribe - the documentary is seeking to raise Rs 7 lakhs rupees for the project.

While the director has focussed on the tribe's presence in Telangana, other regions with significant Gond population include parts of Madhya Pradesh, eastern Maharashtra, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Western Odisha.

"We hear so much about African or Central American tribes, but we hardly hear anything about the tribes in our own country.

"So after spending some time with the Gond tribe, I realized there is so much to tell about their lifestyle, culture, heritage, and the magical ritualistic dance form called 'Gusadi' to the world outside that is completely unaware about it," said Alphonsse, a Hyderabad-based director.

Her first short film 'Kachra' won three state awards.

The Gond tribe that resides in Adilabad, a small district in Hyderabad, has a bag full of stories to tell, Alphonsse said.

Talking about some of the age-old beliefs of the tribes, she said, "They have a sacred cave temple dedicated to their deity Jangubai in the forest land. And legend has it those paying a visit at night don't return."

"The elders claim to have seen a tiger spirit guarding the temple at night."

Alphonsse's objective behind making the documentary is to offer an exposure to the tribe, that barely manages to make both ends meet in the absence of basic amenities.

She hopes that tourism would develop in the area giving them employment opportunities.

"This documentary will motivate the present generation of the tribe to keep their culture and save their age-old famous dance from getting lost forever. Hopefully, their dance would help them earn good money and their would be no need for them to move to cities for a better living," she added.

Taking note of the good work, the Department of Language and Culture in Telangana too came out and funded the project with their share of Rs 2 lakhs.

They have also asked Alphonsse to dub the film in Telugu.

With 12 days left for the campaign, the documentary has raised over Rs 4 lakhs.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Tue, September 05 2017. 18:07 IST