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Understanding tribalism through the prism of Regional Samvaad at Odisha

Gajapati, Odisha, September 02, 2018

~ Extensive discussion on issues impacting tribal India ~
~ Over 140 participants, representing 38 tribes across Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana~

The first Regional Samvaad for 2018 was held at Gajapati, Odisha. The two-day session, conceptualised by Tata Steel, marked the beginning of the signature Samvaad platform for tribalism. The regional Samvaad comprises a series of community-sourced dialogues with and within tribal communities of India, culminating in the main conclave in November at Jamshedpur.

This event at Gajapati, organised by the Corporate Social Responsibility team of Tata Steel in collaboration with Centurion University, was attended by more than 140 participants representing over 38 tribes from Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The participants were from Jajpur, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Sundargarh, Sambalpur, Raygada, Nupadam, Koraput, Keonjhar, Malkangiri, Phulbani and Kandhmal districts of Odisha, along with Vishakhapatnam, Vijaynagar, Khammam and other districts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The event was structured to enable introspection, ideation and dialogue within small groups of participants to arrive at issues of development & nation-building. The collective approach is to seek solutions for tribal communities in India. This context remains the fundamental objective of the Samvaad discourse. The theme for Samvaad for this year therefore is 'Coming Together for Social Change'.

A total of six sessions of Regional Samvaad has been planned for this year. As part of this intensive exercise, the team intends to take this platform to universities and institutions across Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Nagaland, Jharkhand and Central India.

Mr Sourav Roy, Chief, CSR, Tata Steel, said: “Samvaad has emerged as one of our signature programmes over the last four years, and represents our effort to create a platform to better understand our tribal communities, their core development challenges and help co create solutions through a process of dialogue. It is particularly pleasing for us to commence the fifth year of Samvaad from Odisha, which will now be followed by regional events in five more states of India and the main Samvaad conclave in Jamshedpur in November 2018. We remain grateful and are inspired by the continued trust placed in Samvaad by tribal communities across India.”

About Samvaad
‘Samvaad’ is a platform for the tribes to exchange ideas, thoughts and share their concerns. It encourages tribal communities to take the lead in initiating discourse on issues that govern their social sustenance and development. Samvaad is now fast growing as an eco-system where tribal thoughts and voices manifest in various forms – be it a discourse, a work of research, music, food and cuisine collaboration or even documentaries. The concept of regional Samvaad was initiated in 2016 with the objective of reaching out to more tribal communities in the hinterland and factor unheard voices therein. Since its inception, Samvaad has witnessed a flurry of discussions and activities under identified themes including Preservation, Protection and Promotion of Tribal languages (2015), Tribal Health Systems (2016) and 'Aspirations of Tribal Youth & Leadership for Future' (2017).

About Tata Steel                  
Tata Steel Group is among the top global steel companies with an annual crude steel capacity of 27.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) as on March 31, 2018. It is one of the world's most geographically-diversified steel producers, with operations in 26 countries and a commercial presence in over 50 countries. The Group recorded a consolidated turnover of US $20.41 billion (INR 133,016 crore) in FY18. Tata Steel Group is spread across five continents with an employee base of over 65,000. Tata Steel retained Industry Leader position in FY18 and ranked second overall in the DJSI assessment, 2017. The Company has been recognised as the Climate Disclosure Leader in ‘Steel categry’ by CDP (2017). Besides being a member of the World Steel Climate Action Programme, Tata Steel was felicitated with several awards including the Prime Minister’s Trophy for the best performing integrated steel plant for 2014-15 and 2015-16, Best Risk Management by CNBC TV18 (2018) and ‘Corporate Strategy Award’ by Mint (2018). The Company also received the ‘Most Ethical Company’ award from Ethisphere Institute for the sixth time (2018), Steel Sustainability Champions (2017) by the World Steel Association, Dun & Bradstreet Corporate Awards (2017 & 2018), Golden Peacock HR Excellence Award by Institute of Directors (2017) as well as 'Asia's Best Integrated Report' award by the Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards (2017), among several others.

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