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People of the Valley PDF Print E-mail

For the duration of our trip, we became part of the life that thrives because of the existence of the river and forests. The animals, the mountains, the temples, the river, the rock forms – all are a living, dynamic, enthralling part of the Valley. Each one of these is a person, so characteristic and distinct.

Through history and civilizations, the people of the Narmada Valley have always tried to maintain their distinct identity and they continue to do so even today.

What really is the essence of this valley? The Narmada valley is held high in regard by everyone – from a scholar to a lay person. It is the belief that the people have towards the river that binds them together. This force of nature has created harmony, possessiveness and pride among the people of Madhya Pradesh like no other force of authority or communism or terror can ever hope to do. The people we came across were genuine, humble, willing, dedicated, simple – and they all linked themselves and their success or their hope to the river. These people may not know theory or facts about the river, they might fumble with the length, the end point, the number of dams, the flora and fauna or the geology. But all these people, definitely have an incident to share about themselves and the river, about their personal experience of the river. It is this that moved us, this faith that overwhelmed our hearts and minds.

The Valley has businessmen, politicians, people in service, housewives, saints, priests, professionals, and tribal people. In front of the river, all these are equal.

The following is the first impression, the first glimpse about the places we visited and the kind of people we met at each place:

At Bhopal, the people were modern, there was English speaking crowd, hotels, public transport, restaurants, malls, big office buildings… it had the hustle bustle of a city, a growing one.

The Tribes PDF Print E-mail

India has entered the 21st century; there have been spacecrafts launched, but there are people who haven’t even seen a railway yet. Their life is a struggle in contrast to the luxurious life of modern urban India. Numerous tribes have inhabited this land since time immemorial, and the largest density is in Madhya Pradesh. Their remoteness from the outside world has caused these tribes to remain undeveloped.

According to the Indian census, the Gonds and Baigas are most significant tribes in the state. In comparison to the other tribes, Gonds are well settled and economically better than any other communities of the area.


“There was a time when I used to believe in the good in this world. I visited the Narmada. Now, I believe in the great.”