On October 4th, the Union Cabinet approved the establishment of a tribal university in Telangana, named The Sarakka Central Tribal University. This university, with a budget of Rs 889 crore, will be located in Mulugu district.
The initiative was a commitment made by the Central government as a part of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, which aimed to support both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in establishing tribal universities.
The Telangana tribal university project faced significant challenges, primarily related to land allocation. Securing 500-600 acres of land for the university proved to be a time-consuming process.
Honoring Local Legends
- During a recent visit to Telangana, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the university would be named after Sammakka-Sarakka, a revered mother-daughter duo in the local tribal community.
- The decision to name the university after them is significant, as it connects the institution with local traditions and legends.
The Legend of Sammakka-Sarakka
- Sammakka-Sarakka, a mother-daughter duo, holds a special place in the local tribal folklore.
- Sammakka, married to Pagididda Raju, a Kakatiya dynasty chief, played a pivotal role in protesting against oppressive taxes imposed by local rulers.
- Sarakka, one of her daughters, lost her life in the battle, and Sammakka disappeared into the hills, believed to have transformed into a vermillion casket.
Sammakka Saralamma Jatara:
- Mulugu hosts a biennial festival called the Sammakka Saralamma Jatara, one of the largest gatherings of tribal people globally.
- This event commemorates the bravery of the 13th-century mother-daughter duo in their struggle against tax imposition on the Koya people.
- The Jatara begins at Medaram and involves rituals conducted by Koya priests following their customs.
- Over the years, the festival has grown in scale and is now considered one of the largest tribal festivals in the world.
Growth and Recognition
The Sammakka Sarakka Jathara has gained immense popularity, attracting around 1.5 crore devotees from various tribal and non-tribal communities, including regions like Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Jharkhand. It is often likened to the Kumbh Mela of the tribals.
- Both the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the Telangana state government actively participate in the festival.
- Financial support is extended to ensure the smooth organization of the event, including community shelters and infrastructure development in the Medaram area.
- The Ministry of Tourism, as part of the Tribal Circuit under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, has sanctioned funds for the integrated development of a tribal circuit, encompassing Mulugu-Laknavaram-Medavaram-Tadvai-Damaravi-Mallur-Bogatha Waterfalls, where the Sammakka-Sarakka temple is located.
- This investment aims to enhance the overall tourism potential of the region.