Monthly Archives: October 2017

Badaga Photo Journalist – Raghu Joghee

Raghu Joghee

It was a great pleasure to meet and get to know photo journalist Raghu Joghee (Yedapalli) who is with  the Tamil Daily Dinamalar.

His photos are treat to eyes. One of them has been selected and published by the National Geographic

RJ

The photo below of a 94 yrs old Singhi Hethe (grand old Badaga lady) from Ebbanadu Village is sheer pleasure to see. Fist time I am seeing a body tatoo. Also see the page about tatoo by Badaga women

Photo by Raghu Joghee

Proud of you Raghu

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The Great Revival of these abandoned schools

In the Nilgiris, Nakkubetta to Badagas, many schools started many decades ago, even during the British period, are in the final stages of being closed down due to lack of students. They were/are Tamil medium schools.

Lack of students, in this age and time of substantial population explosion? Therein lies the sad story of how clueless politicians and through them the government insisted that Tamil and only Tamil would be given the status of medium and English was given the go by.

Apart from the lack of job opportunities, the inherent ego and prestige issues ensured that even comparatively poor families sent their children to English medium schools spread around the district ignoring the government run Tamil medium schools.

And hence, many of these Tamil medium schools located in the hattis have ten/twenty students and are in the verge of being closed.

One of the oldest schools, started by Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder in Hubbathalai has only around 30 students and may be closed soon.

But some Badagas who are old students of these schools did not want to see their alma mater going to seeds. People like Dr.Sundraradevan , the first and so far only IAS officer among Badagas, gave a serious thought to the problem and identified that the medium of teaching was the main source to this issue. They decided to take the issue hands on literally. Why not start teaching in English?

With consultation among the villages and taking personal interest, Dr.Sundaradevan succeeded in converting the school in Adhigaratty, started in 1832, to function again in full bloom with  highly qualified teachers being paid by the parents/ association.

Prakash (Heera Masi) of Godalatti informs me that they have also revived the school in his village being inspired by the Adhigaratty example.

We are very proud of these people whose interest is for the community, by the community!