By Winin Pereira, Jeremy Seabrook
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Extra resources for Asking the Earth: The Spread of Unsustainable Development
It would have been a sacrilege ... to resume such a land... Throughout the country, by far the large majority of schools held on the grant of rent free system were resumed". The indigenous system was also supported by local taxes. The Public Despatch of Bengal of 3 June, 1814 stated: 'We refer with particular satisfaction ... to that distinguished feature of internal polity which prevails ... by which the instruction of the people is provided for by a certain charge upon the produce of the soil and other endowments in favour of the village teachers".
One example of this is sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina) which has been used for hundreds of years for treating mental and other diseases. In the late 1940s, Western researchers found that the plant could relieve high blood pressure and in 1953 they discovered it to be effective against schizophrenia. 23 However, this widespread use was due mainly to pharmaceutical companies' advertising campaigns. Such use of all types of tranquillisers has caused problems of addictions and other "side' effects.
For the Warlis, acting together has enabled the community to survive for centuries. The differentiation of labour and its commercialisation- is claimed to be a sign of progress. But Warlis share their labour without charge whenever required for agriculture, house building or any other activity, and by doing so have avoided the economic class stratification which differentiated labour promotes. An Adivasi from North India was asked what they do with unwanted children. She replied: “We have no unwanted children.