‘Environment sustainability only through ethnic values and culture’

ROING, Jun 22: International Centre for Cultural Studies (ICCS-US) president Dr Shekhar Patel said environment sustainability could be achieved “only through ethnic values and culture.”
“The world knows that to contain the present global environmental issues, the tribal culture needs to survive. We need ambassadorial tribal leaders at the global level to talk with elders. We want leaders who will think loudly and change the policies at the global level to ensure the sustenance of our culture,” Dr Patel said during a ‘guest lecture programme’ organized by the Lower Dibang Valley district administration, the IMCLS and the RIWATCH here on 20 June.
The ICCS-US is the parent body of the RIWATCH. Dr Patel is also the vice president of the Hindu University of America.
He said the tribal population of the world is about 300 million, “which is almost equivalent to the population of the USA.”
“They (tribal people) are scattered and are in small groups, but it is surprising that, out of the total natural resources available in the world, 80 percent are in possession of the tribal communities. This shows the true respect given by the tribes to Earth,” he said.
MLA Mutchu Mithi, who also addressed the programme, said, “Our culture is our identity and we need to preserve it.” He also emphasized on the preservation of mother tongues “as all the best expressions can be done only in one’s mother tongue.”
Deputy Commissioner Mitali Namchoom, RIWATCH executive director Vijay Swami and executive member Dr Ista Pulu, and IMCLS president Ginko Linggi coordinated the programme.
The lecture was attended by more than 100 participants, including government officers, elders of the Adi and Idu Mishmi tribes, teachers, and students.