Once again I was so graciously welcomed by the town council of Lohardagga as I visit them again to present a photo of the first town council in 1888 that was formed by Ferdinand Hahn, who was also the first President. I handed the photo to the 22 President of the town and to the town hall members and staff.
There was much good conversation. I only pray I don't get into too much trouble having expressed my personal opinion about the CTA Chotanagpur Tenancy Act 1908 that is currently being challenged. It has been the only strong piece of legislation that has stayed in tact in favor of the Adivasi. True it was created by German missionaries, but with the understanding of the importance of ancestral lands as the primary foundation of maintaining community and culture. if it is altered or removed the advantage will go to others and the Adivasi will have nothing left to protect them. It is my opinion, but they wanted me to go on record for having said it. Otherwise we discussed about Ferdinand Hahn's contributions in language education and health, and about my family heritage (four generations working in India) I asked them to find out if anyone in the town can identify anyone in the picture as their own ancestors and if they have pictures to match. Of course they started to say this looks like so and so and such and such who are presently on the council.
My host, Manorma Ekka was very good at pushing me to say everything in Hindi.
After our short visit to town hall we were went to visit a group of women who have a savings network. Each woman pays into it 10 rupees monthly and then they can borrow from the fund when they need money for seeds or medicines or such. I asked why the men don't also do this. They teach the children to save and budget but the men "live for themselves", while the women manage the care of the family.
"Johar! Neem ekane aradaya" I most probably have massacred it but it means: "Greetings, how are you?"
There were six groups of women. Each keeps their own money box and when it is full it goes to the bank. A registry book keeps all their pertinent information, including remarks from guests.