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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Rita Toto goes to work....... West Bengal Government job at that

Rita Toto is a celebrity... she is in news ~ that is nothing new to her ~ she got a good job, then buckled to tradition and now has again got a job……… but why should all these make news ?  

I had earlier posted of this girl becoming some sort of an icon of a tribe…  ‘in toto’ means ~ - in all, totally, entirely, completely. Totopara ~ it is closer to Madarihat in Jalpaiguri District……. there is river Torsha to the east. A total numbers of 1184 (according with 2001 census) Totos live in nearly 200 houses in Totopara. They are the ‘toto’ people belonging to  Indo-Bhutanese tribal community. It is a very primitive inhabitance, considered as Mongoloid people.  Click here for the previous post : Rita Toto

Toto is also the name of the language of  Tibeto—Burman,  The Himalayan Languages Project is working on the first grammatical sketch of Toto. Toto is listed as a critically endangered language by UNESCO, with perhaps 1,000 speakers. The West Bengal government has decided to provide free foodgrains to members of the Toto community, one of the country’s oldest tribes, and which is facing extinction. The WB Govt had announced that all families of Totos residing in Jalpaiguri would be provided eight kg of foodgrains every month. 

As a  22-year-old,  Rita Toto earned the distinction of becoming the first woman graduate among the endangered Toto tribe.  She is the fourth from her tribe to become a graduate -- all her predecessors were men, including Jagadish Toto who was the first to graduate in 1920.  She was employed by IT giant TCS.; but Rita  became a homemaker, miles away from the city life she badly misses.  After working for a shortwhile, she had to buckle to her tradition, where a 22-year-old would be considered too old for marriage, Rita took leave from her job and moved into a live-in relationship with Jagadish Toto, a part-time teacher at Dhanapati High School on February 28, 2011. A Toto couple must live-in for a year before their marriage. Exhausting all her leave, Rita had to quit to get formally wedded.  

Now in May 2013, comes the news that the West Bengal Govt has appointed the first woman graduate from the endangered Toto community in north Bengal as a social worker in the Backward Classes Welfare Department. “The State government has decided to appoint Rita Toto. It is a historical decision because it will help Ms. Toto to provide services to her own community,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee told journalists after a Cabinet meeting. “It is the most important decision taken at the 50 meeting of the Cabinet of the Trinamool Congress government. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has taken the initiative in this regard,” he added.

Only recently, Ms. Banerjee announced establishing a separate department for tribals in north Bengal that will look into the interests of endangered communities in the region like the Totos, Labhas and Boros.

So now Rita Toto goes to job again, this time a Government job … 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

28th May 2013

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