Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama Educational Complex

Hatamuniguda, Odisha

The Place & People

The district of Rayagada is famous in the state because of its long history. It has long and glorious historical records evident by copper plates, rock inscriptions as well as different coins, which clearly indicate that the region was the centre of attraction in all ages. In the third century B.C, during the reign of Ashoka the Great, it was covered under Kalinga empire. During the English regime, Rayagada was covered under the Jeypore Zamindari, which continued till Independence.

The district is predominantly a tribal populated district with 57.52 % of tribal population. Keeping this in view, all the 11 blocks of the district have been covered under tribal sub-plan.

The kondhas and its subsection constitute the major percentage of tribal population in the district and the Souras stand second. There are also many other tribal communities who are, however, negligible in number but definitely contribute to the exotic intermingling culture of the district.

In the ethno-cultural map of Orissa, two tribes stand out quite prominently for their educational backwardness.

Firstly, the Kondhas are one of the primitive tribes, inhabiting almost all the blocks of the district. Their highest concentration is found in the blocks of Rayagada, Kashipur, Kalyansinghpur, Bissamcuttack and Muniguda.

Secondly, the Souras or Lanjia Souras (as they are often called due to their dress pattern). They inhabit blocks of Gunupur, Padmapur and Gudari. Although, they are close to the assimilation process, yet some interior GPs like Rejingtal, Sagada and Puttasingi have Souras who still retain their traditional tribal customs and traditions

The Kondhas once infamous for their human sacrifice during British colonialism in India are believed to be from the Proto-Australoid racial stock. They have a distinct language called "Kui" which has no written script. They are plain land dwellers exhibiting greater adaptability to the forest environment.

The most primitive sub group of kondhas is the Dongaria Kondhas. They inhabit the plateaus of Niyamgiri hill ranges (covering parts of Rayagada, Koraput and Kalahandi districts). Their major concentration is found in the blocks of Bissamcuttack, Kalyansinghpur and Muniguda. They are called Dongaria or dweller "donger" (hill in Oriya) and love to settle in higher altitudes. They have a subsistence economy based on foraging, hunting & gathering but they now primarily depend on a subsistence agriculture i.e. shifting cultivation or slash and burn cultivation or Podu.

The second backward tribal community is the Saoras. They are known by various names such as "Savara", "Sahara", "Sora" and "Soura". The Saoras have their own dialect. However, written language in saora is not followed by all. They practice shifting cultivation, with a few gradually taking up settled agriculture.

The Saoras practice swidden or shifting cultivation. They are more adept or skilled in terraced cultivation. Like the Dongorias, the Saoras are highly religious with each and every natural phenomenon attributed to the works of some Gods, deities or spirits. Therefore, the customary law, values, norms are highly respected by all members of the society for the fear of inviting personal or communal harms. The social control mechanism revolves around the religious beliefs, which are very strong.

The tribals of Rayagada observe a string of festivals. Some are closed affairs, relating to a birth or death within the family or daughter attaining puberty. Others relate to sowing or harvest time and these involve the entire community.

Unlike the Dongaria, the Saoras in Rayagada have adopted Christianity in large numbers leaving the traditional economy, polity and religion at a cross road. Due to its impact, they have adopted modern ways of life. Their traditional dress pattern has changed, leaving a few in interior villages retaining their traditional cultural life style. The Saoras are known for their economic and political integrity.

About School

The school is to be set up over an area of 100 acres. Offering high school education, the school shall have eight grades of education from fifth to twelfth standard.