Raj Gond Adivasis from Gundala village visit Hyderabad for the first time

Used to a disciplined way of life, the only thing that the Raj Gond Adivasis from Gundala village were not new to, in Hyderabad, was the organised way of doing things, like walking in single file when entering historic places or those of tourist interest. The rest of the capital city, a concrete jungle interspersed with historic and beautiful edifices, was beyond imagination for the group of 100 which, on Sunday, began its two-day tour of Hyderabad, a first for them.

The ethnic people have ventured beyond the borders of their district, Kumram Bheem Asifabad, for the first time. According to their guide, Sub-Inspector Budde Swamy of Tiryani police station, which has jurisdiction over Gundala, the villagers were initially surprised to see as much concrete as the greenery that they are accustomed to.

“They got together as the day wore off and they saw Charminar, Mecca Masjid, Salarjung Museum and the airport. These places, which were not even names for them till yesterday, will keep them enthralled for a long time to come,” he observed, as he talked of the reaction of the Adivasis to the tour.

The ‘excursion’ for the aboriginal villagers was the idea of Ramagunda Police Commissioner Vikram Jeet Duggal, who organised it as part of the Janamythri people’s policing programme. The Gundala Adivasis were in touch with him since he was Superintendent of Police of Adilabad district before it was divided about a year ago.

They had demanded a road connecting Gundala with Dandepally mandal headquarter. The Police Department, under the officer, had facilitated laying of a 6-km gravel track for which he earned the praise of the aboriginals. The logic behind facilitating the tour of the capital city was to get the ethnic people compare the lifestyle of urban and rural people, which will go a long way in helping them form their view on becoming part of Maoist extremism. “We want to wean the innocent and gullible ethnic people away from anti-social activities,” Mr. Duggal added.