Ranchi, March 30: Adivasi Lives Matter, an initiative that brings out unheard stories of the tribal society in form of articles and videos, has been awarded Cosmopolitan Blogger Award 2021-22 for their excellent work as a Social Reform Activist.
Ashish Birulee, the co-founder of Adivasi Lives Matter spoke to Lagatar24.com and explained about how he, along with his co-founder, started this initiative.
“The journey began back in 2016 when one of ALM’s co-founder, Ankush Vengurlekar was on a ‘cycle yatra’ and he visited me in my hometown Jadugoda. He was inspired to see the work I was doing in bringing out stories of the tribal society in front of a mass audience. That is when we decided to start this initiative,” he said.
Adivasi Lives Matter that brings out unheard stories of the tribal society in form of articles and videos. More than 47 thousand people are connected in its social media account. Ashish mentioned that many times we see the stories of tribal society brought out by non tribals. He wanted to make an initiative where they can train tribals across India on how to bring out stories through articles and videos.
“We are still in a baby step mode currently and this is a work that will take a generation to reach to the next level. There are around 700 different tribal communities in India which speak 500 different languages. Apart from Jharkhand, we are currently giving training to tribals of Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Chhattisgarh and slowly we will move to other states as well,” he added.
Till date, ALM has published 700 articles and video stories that have portrayed their tradition, language, culture, religion and festivals. It was founded by Ashish Birulee, Ankush Vengurlekar and Isha Chitnis.
Ashish is also an anti-nuclear activist and photojournalist and is fighting for the rights of people of jadugoda. His father founded the Jharkhandi Organization Against Radiation (JOAR) in 1998, when there were plans to turn a local holy spot into a third tailing pond, where radioactive waste would be dumped.
“It is the fear of forced displacement, experiences with the ubiquitous disease and a longing for what is seen as a ‘customary death’ that has driven me to do what I do today. Over the last few years, I have started documenting oral narratives and fighting for a safer environment for my community,” Birulee added.
America’s famous magazine Cosmopolitan publishes its 50 editions worldwide. Cosmopolitan India gives a Blogger Award every year in different categories. ‘Dalit History’ and ‘Bakeryprasad’ were also nominated as the Social Reformer Activist of the year but the award went to Adivasi Lives Matter.