Vanaspati Bhasha Collaborative

The Vanaspati Bhasha collaborative works with tribal communities in Maharashtra, India.

When working with tribal communities in Maharashtra, India, the collaborative was struck by the loss of faith the communities had in indigenous conservation traditions. The conventional education system does not teach about local ecology and ways of conserving the forest. For tribal students there is a disconnect between what they learn and their contexts. The traditional lifestyle which ensured resource equity and conservation is now starting to rupture.

They hope to reinstate pride in the community towards its knowledge systems. Vanaspati Bhasha believes that community-centric conservation practices are the only way we can mitigate environmental and cultural losses of native Indian landscapes. They use participatory processes that focus on the strength of communities to conserve local ecologies with their traditional knowledge systems, making communities the primary stakeholders of conservation effort.

Vanaspati Bhasha seeks to:

  • Work with the tribal community to help it document and preserve this vast indigenous knowledge of wild foods, native medicinal plants, sustainable harvesting of wild resources, conservation of ecologies and making utilitarian daily products with forest produce.
  • Document this in local languages, which like the ecologies associated with them, also are facing extinction.
  • Produce education materials for children in tribal and urban schools. Books created will seek to portray the native knowledge through vivid storytelling and illustrations.
  • 2023
  • Intentional Projects
Photo: Vanaspati Bhasha Collaborative