New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) President Droupadi Murmu said on Saturday that the tribal lifestyle offers a solution to the global problem of climate change and called for collective efforts to protect their traditional knowledge.
She emphasised the need to learn from tribal communities to live in harmony with nature, especially when the "modernisation race has caused significant harm to the Earth and its natural resources".
"In the face of climate change, replicating the tribal lifestyle becomes even more crucial," Murmu said after inaugurating the "Aadi Mahotsav" at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here.
The festival aims at showcasing the rich diversity of India's tribal heritage and will run till February 18.
Murmu said tribal people could benefit from new technology, which should be used for sustainable development.
She expressed concerns about the "gradual extinction of traditional knowledge" and called for "collective efforts to conserve it", suggesting leveraging new technology in this endeavour.
The president said while the government prioritises the development of the Scheduled Tribes (STs), it is equally important to protect their culture.
She commended the government's efforts for eradicating sickle-cell disease among tribal populations, providing quality education through Eklavya model residential schools and offering scholarships for higher education to tribal students.
Murmu also launched a first-of-its-kind venture capital fund aimed at promoting entrepreneurship among the STs by providing concessional finance.
She said tribal entrepreneurs would benefit from the scheme and contribute to India's self-reliance.
Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda accused previous governments of neglecting the welfare of tribal communities and said the Narendra Modi government has given them respect.
The festival, featuring more than 300 stalls showcasing tribal art, handicrafts, natural products and cuisine, promises to be a grand affair this year.
With around 1,000 artisans participating, visitors will have the opportunity to meet the talented creators behind these tribal creations.
The event will also include a separate food court offering tribal cuisines known for their health benefits.
Cultural programmes featuring performances by tribal artistes from across the country will entertain the visitors in the evenings, while workshops such as crafts workshops and Adi Chitra painting displays will provide a first-hand experience of tribal culture. PTI GVS RC