Badagas now in UN database of world's indigenous peoples

The inscription on the Badagas says, Traditionally buffalo herders, recently there is a strong trend back to farming with particular attention to organic farming.

Published: 16th October 2020 04:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th October 2020 04:41 PM   |  A+A-

United Nations building. (File Photo)

United Nations building. (File Photo)


UDHAGAMANDALAM:  Indigenous Badagar Alliance (IBA) on Friday expressed happiness over including the 'Badagas,' the largest indigenous social group in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu, in the database of Worlds Indigenous Peoples by the United Nations Mountain Partnership.

The inscription on the Badagas says, Traditionally buffalo herders, recently there is a strong trend back to farming with particular attention to organic farming.

On the Badaga language, the inscription says, Badaga language (Badaga) is part of the Dravidian language family.

One of worlds primary language families spoken by over 200 million people in south, central and north India, the IBA president Ayyaru told reporters here.

Welcoming the inclusion of the community in the UN Mountain Partnership, he said it was a big international- level recognition for Badagas, which has more than five lakh population in the district.

Mountain Partnership is a United Nations alliance of partners dedicated to improving the lives of mountain peoples and protecting mountain environments around the world.

Founded in 2002, it has more than 400 members, including international organisations, major private sector organisations and NGOs and 60 governments, including India, and is currently preparing an international data base of indigenous peoples and a detailed global map to identify who are the indigenous and local mountain communities and where such communities live.

Indigenous Mountain Peoples are defined by the UN on the following criteria: How long they have been living in a specific territory, their cultural distinctiveness, including exclusive language, social organisation, religion and spiritual values, modes of production, laws and institutions; self-identification as well as recognition by other groups or by state authorities as a distinct community and an history of struggle and exploitation, their continued inhabitation, at least part of the year, on a mountain, their continued use of traditional food systems around mountain ecosystems and their clear connection to a particular mountain or range, he said.

Based on these criteria, the Nilgiri Documentation Centre (NDC), a local research body, with nearly four decades of work, submitted the case of the Badagas of Nilgiris for inclusion in the Worlds Indigenous Peoples data base with necessary supporting evidence and documents.

The UN Mountain Partnerhiup has accepted the application of the NDC and included the Badaga community in their data base of worlds indigenous peoples, Ayyaru said.

Ayyaru, along with community leaders, met the district collector Innocent Divya and handed over a copy of UN letter to her.

She welcomed it by saying she was also happy for getting the international recognition for the community.



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