Folk university set to tap into village vitals

The Folk University, it seems, has begun its work in right earnest.

In keeping with its mandate, the varsity has come up with a programme to document the history, indigenous knowledge traditions and other key information about the 36,000 villages in the State.

The project has begun on a pilot basis in 98 villages of Shiggaon taluk in Haveri district. The effort will lead to the compiling of a ‘grama charitra kosha’ or a ready reckoner on village histories.

Six research assistants will study the history and the cultural background of each village, besides recording statistical data with regard to the place. A report will be prepared thereafter. The Department of Kannada and Culture has allotted Rs 10 lakh for the ambitious project.

Folk culture is sustained in the villages and covers a wide range of aspects like language, culture, the rustic flavour, traditional practices and people’s behaviour. However, the history of most villages has not been documented properly. It is here that the ‘grama charitra kosha’ will come in handy.

Besides recording the local lifestyles from what village elders have to say, the research assistants will secure all key documents available about a particular place. Put in a nutshell, the folk university’s effort is aimed at reconstructing the histories of the villages.

“The grama charitra kosha will prove to be a valuable asset for the future generations and hence, it is a very responsible task. The effort is a first-of-its-kind initiative,” Prof Ambalike Hiriyanna, vice-chancellor of the Folk University, told Deccan Herald.

Life in the villages, profile of achievers from each place, besides the heritage art and knowledge traditions will be documented through this exercise. The project will go one step ahead, in that it will also reflect the problems faced in each of the villages. The experts will also suggest solutions to the problems.

All the information in the ‘grama charitra kosha’ will then be brought out in the form of a book and submitted to the government. The book will also be computerised, thereby helping those interested access to information in soft format, too. It can also be a reference book for students of various courses of the varsity.

“An action plan has been prepared and submitted to the government. The plan envisages completing the project in three years. We have sought a grant of Rs 8.47 crore and it will be released in phases,” said the vice-chancellor. The varsity will open six regional centres in the State to protect indigenous knowledge traditions and for propagating them. The ‘grama charitra kosha’ project will also provide employment opportunities.

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