Children of the Earth – Forest Guards and Baigas of Kanha
The Baiga are indigenous to the Mandla and the Balaghat districts of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. When Kanha was declared a national park in 1955 many of these native tribals were evicted from their place of origin in the larger good of conserving the wildlife of the place. Today these tribes live in the surrounding areas of the Kanha National Park, mostly to be found towards the Mukki zone. The Baiga tribals of Kanha were majorly dependent on the forest for their daily livelihood before 1955. Now they are no longer allowed to collect firewood from the forested area and need to walk for miles in search of wood. Their lifestyle is marked with primitive and semi-nomadic existence making one feel as if time has stopped centuries ago.
They worship Mother Earth and as per folklore the Baigas are the children of the Earth and are responsible for its upkeep. They believe in living in complete harmony and peaceful co-existence with nature.
We hope for the children to understand the Baigas’ connection with Mother Earth and therefore their beliefs and practices that rise as a consequence. The children will be privy to their simple and natural way of living, their calmness, their ideas about cultivation, foraging and fishing, collecting and using herbs as medicines,their grains and food, using bamboo to make what they need, etc. The children will also see the now famous jewellery made by the Baiga women as an alternative source of livelihood. This not only gives them a source of income but reduces their dependency on the forest and its products as also reduces the human-wildlife conflict.
Duration: 7 days
Age: 12-17 Years
Season: Sept – Mid Dec + Feb – Mid Apr
Minimum: 8 students + 2 mentor guide
Maximum: 12 Students + 2 mentor guide
Accommodation: In Lodge
*For schools interested in collaborating and customizing this journey please write to email@example.com