‘Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel, that thou may’st shake the superflux to them and show the heavens more just’

  • Shakespeare : King Lear, Act 3,4


Totem Resource Centre on Ethnic Communities is a non-governmental, non-denominational, not-for-profit organization that came into formal existence in October 2014. It comprises of people from various walks of life, who have been working for the last five to ten years, with the deprived section of the population, particularly the Scheduled Tribes and Castes and other ethnic minorities.

The main functions of totem are:

•  To protect and conserve the traditional knowledge, medicine, art, culture and heritage of the minority and indigenous groups.

•  Local action and economic development through decentralized planning (community centered)

•  Think globally and act locally.

•  Foster self-reliance, dignity, community, self-worth, and social security for the empowerment.

•  Recognize needs of the minority and indigenous groups.

•  A devoted journey toward the protection, conservation and improvement of the natural environment including forests, lake, rivers, wildlife, hills, Ghats, mountains, biodiversity, etc. through documentation of traditional knowledge by adopting a Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Realize lifestyle.

•  Conduct educational programs and documentary screening of recent scientific inventions and discoveries.

•  To utilize digital media and social networking to promote and provide assistance for the research and development of ethnic communities.


i. To undertake studies pertaining to social, economic, ethnographic, and developmental aspects of the ethnic communities of India.

ii. To encourage such activities that raise the standards of education and gives priority to the spread of education and awareness among these communities;

iii. To form a Resource centre on these communities using the available data bank;

iv. To document their traditional knowledge systems, including their folkloristic tradition;

v. To organize camps and encourage formation of ‘collective’ self-help groups through popular media, for the development of these communities;

vi. To voice social concerns through organizing campaigns, education meets, camps, serving memorandums and such other activities as part of advocacy;

vii. To help organize, run or arrange training programs to undertake projects on sustainable development;

viii. To foster, organize and conduct camps and seminars for the youth to develop their creative potential;

ix. To organize, conduct and extend such activities run by the government that are to raise awareness among the youth, to spread education among them, to increase employment options for them, to bring social equality, to entertain and to maintain the cultural heritage and to extend such activities to the smallest of the small villages.

x. To start a website of these communities that would enable them to address their issues globally and that obviously would cater to their needs and help find a panacea to problems;

xi. To foster, assist, organize, and conduct and to collaborate, associated with and/or to secure assistance from other similar institutions/organisations for programmes that are conducive to the improvement of the environment.

xii. To identify the problems of health, especially of the children and women, on a priority basis and to start, assist or promote health care facilities for ameliorating their subhuman conditions.

xiii. To establish an alternative model for development of these communities on a sustainable basis;

xiv. To conduct surveys as suggested by advocacy organisations and publish reports those are conducive for their eco-development;

xv. To establish and run schools with financial assistance from educational institutions;

xvi. To develop and spread education programs that lay stress on matters of health and hygiene;

xvii. To organize public meets, camps, publish literature and pamphlets to form public opinion on social issues;

xviii. To make all attempts for sustainable development, ask for assistance from international organizations such as UNICEF, USAID, SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL, UNESCO, UNDP etc. and to extend them to the deprived section of the population;

xix. To promote and assist research that could lead to solutions to issues of social development;

xx. To take all assistance in terms of land and/or finance from the government or other agencies of social service to construct or assist in the construction of houses for the poor and to take all measures possible for solving the problems of housing for the poor;

xxi. To advise, guide, assist in running projects, evaluate and conduct/organize trainings for other voluntary organizations with having similar objectives;

xxii. To assist, take assistance and collaborate with other organizations, which have similar objectives;

xxiii. To make all attempts that lead to awareness, exchange of ideas and solutions to issues of development;

xxiv. To call national and international experts for their advice, assistance and guidance in any activity of the Society in its areas of operation;

xxv. To start or assist existing cooperatives and business houses that provides employment to the poor;

xxvi. To run and conduct eye camps, dental camps, health camps, free food distribution centres independently or in collaboration with other concerned individuals, groups or organisations for the public good;

xxvii. To accept and collect donations in cash and kind for activities of relief during natural calamities like floods, droughts, famines, earthquakes, etc.

xxviii. To promote, run and manage registered or unregistered organisations of the youth for the fulfilment of all the above objectives especially that under section 3 (IX);

xxix. To undertake and/or support other organisations or groups undertaking activities of sustainable development using alternative technology;

xxx. To change any of the above objects, to do or cause to be done any act or thing provided such changes, things, or acts is not contrary to or inconsistent with the spirit and principles of the laws under which this group has been organized and registered.

xxxi. To provide legal assistance to the people from oppressed sections of the society.

xxxii. To develop tourism with dignity and respect to local cultures

xxxiii. To create and promote forms of tourism that provide healthy interaction opportunities for tourists and locals and increase better understanding of different cultures, customs, lifestyles, traditional knowledge and beliefs.

xxxiv. To create awareness of yoga in the society and to promote yoga as a practice for good health and fitness.

xxxv. To bring the focus on the value and importance of our planet and environment to all human beings, and urge to adopt a Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Realize lifestyle in order to support the efforts to preserve the planet.

xxxvi. To protect Biodiversity and Biological Resources through documentation of Traditional knowledge.

xxxvii. To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lake, rivers, wildlife etc. and to work for conservation and development of National Parks and Protection of Migratory Birds.

xxxviii. To organize science quizzes, science documentary screening and conduct education programs on recent scientific inventions and discoveries.

xxxix. Utilizing digital media and social networking to promote and provide assistance for the research and development of ethnic communities.

xl. To protect and conserve the art, culture and heritage of the minority and indigenous groups.



2 responses to “About

  1. Your vision is very inspiring.

    I currently live in Australia. I was in India for four months this year. After reading Arundhati Roy’s ‘Broken Republic’ a few years ago I have been interested in finding a way to support the movement for empowerment of tribal people in India. I am currently working with one of my close friends who is a tribal person from Chandrapur in ways we could do this.

    Where is this organisation at in fulfilling on this vision and commitment?


    • We are very much happy to hear about your interest and willingness to work for empowerment of tribal communities of India.You are always welcome to Kerala for understanding people’s issues and challenges. There is a larger space where we can work together for a better world. You may please contact Mr. Deepu P. Thomas, strategy head of totem. His mobile number is +91 8086622990. He will guide you.


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