SOS, Bhubaneswar Sikhya-O-Sikhya, Bhubaneswar
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Mayurbhanj is a tribal dominated district. Out of 62 types of tribals in Orissa, Mayurbhanj alone houses 53. The major tribes found in Mayurbhanj are: the Santals, Kolha, Bhuyan, Bathudi Bhuyan, Gond etc. and their distribution is given below :

1. Santali Bijatala
2. Kolha Jashipur
3. Bhuyan/Bathudi Karanjia
4. Bhumija Shamakhunta
5. Gond Sukruli
6. Munda Rairangpur
6. Khadia/Lodha Shuliapada/Morada

"Lodha" in India is one of the primitive tribe living mainly in the forest cover border district of Midnapur (West Bengal), Mayurbhanj (Orissa) and Singbhum (Jharkhand). Their number in Orissa is about 5 thousand and are they are living in Mayurbhanj district of Orissa and majority of them are found in Morada (about 400 Families) and Suliapada (about 200 families) Block of this district. From the very beginning, this tribe has been regarded as a criminal tribe by other community of the area. The term "Criminal Tribe" had been imposed by British Govt. as this community indulges in rubbery and theft most of the time. The Lodhas are the ex-criminal tribe who committed crimes in villages for their survival. Instead of their development many a times they come under the police custody. Most of the Lodha communities still live under small huts in the forest areas and victimized by the police on robbery cases.

Lodhas were primarily forest dwelling tribe and they use to live amidst the dense forest exploiting various forest products and hunting wild animals since their generation and practice the nomadic culture & therefore they were treated as nomadic tribe by mid 50. They led a happy and peaceful life under the shadow of nature. But during British rule in India, pressure on land increased due to increase in population and other reasons. At that juncture ,the forest contractors with the help of some agricultural communities, particularly Santhals, Mundas, Mahatos and Bhumijs, whose number is greater in this area, destroyed the forest for some reason and pushed the lodhas, a comparatively weaker tribe, inside the forest. But after the passage of time, their population increased and they fail to fulfill all their consumption needs within specific and limited area where they thrust into. This economic and territorial displacement caused adverse impact on their life style. It is probably that, finding no other alternative, they resorted to the path of criminality and Plunder.

They are generally found leading semi-nomadic life. The stigma of criminality has so much deep rooted on this community that they are cut off from rest of the community of the society. Till today, they are regarded as degenerated human group requiring economic, social, morel and educational rehabilitation. Many a times, the Lodhas are hunt by the public, suspecting them theft in the locality. They still live undernourished, huffed and living such a life, which the plane people will not believe that in science age such a community live in this society. The Lodha is a criminal tribe needing special attention for their socio-economic rehabilitation.

In order, to improve the lifestyle and to develop the skills of the Lodha community, so that they no more indulge themselves in the criminal activities, the Govt. of Odisha, decided to impart some skill up-gradation training programmes. The Lodha Development Agency, Govt. of Odisha, Mayurbhanj selected Sikhya-O-Sikhya, Bhubaneswar to impart Skill Up-gradation training and Capacity Building of the Lodha Community at Moroda. The beneficiaries from the Lodha community were selected by the Special officer, Lodha Development Agency, Mayurbhanj for the Mason training Programme, Plumbing & Sanitary training programme at Moroda.

Sikhya-O-Sikhya is also providing a working lunch to the beneficiaries during the training programme. They prefer non-vegetarian food as the Lodha community & the Mankidia tribes are dependent on the animals of the forest for their food. So, they do not get more options for the vegetarian food items. During the training programme our organization tried to intricate some cultural and religious values to these tribes, so they are now preferring to have vegetarian food twice a week i.e Monday & Thursday. Our entire team of Sikhya-O-Sikhya is also conducting various LEE (Life Enrichment Education) programmes for these communities. They have been provided with uniforms for the training programme and the tribes are very eager to put on their uniform and attend the training programme.

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