For hundreds of years, Indians have visited places like Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, Bodh Gaya in Bihar and the holy sites of Hinduism where "Kumbh Melas" were organized. One familiar and common site on all these places has been the presence of "Pundas" and "Bhats (pronounced as Bhaat)" these are the guys have been responsible for tracking Hindu families across generations.I remember when I was 4-5 years old, a "Punda" visited my house in Indore. There was utter panic in the house. But this gentleman quickly made himself at home in a corner and opened his shoulder bag, took out his books and started rattling off names of my ancestors. He finally collected information about my family and took some "Dakshina" and walked off.
In the central part of Madhya Pradesh, there is a tribe of "Bhils (pronounced Bheels)". These are the original aborigines of India. For the past one or two generations, some of these have been converted to Islam. Interestingly, these guys still follow some Hindu customs -- like during the marriage ceremony, they have the Nikah (which is a Muslim Custom), followed by a Tika (which is a Hindu Custom). This tribe has a direct connection to another tribe in Rajasthan -- a tribe called as Bhats (pronounced -- Bhaat). The Bhats travel to the Bhil tribes every couple of years and record their family changes, which include new births, deaths, migrations etc.
In the past, per the Hindu traditions, the final right of every Hindu was supposed to be doing ghe final "Pind Daan" in Gaya. This ended up with the family "Punda" recording the details of the family.
With the new trends in India, these ancient traditions are losing their values. Not many travel to the Kumbha Melas, and not many visit places like Gaya. Also, with the changes in economy in India, the modern generation is forgetting the importance of these traditions. The Pundas and the others doing this work are losing interest in continuing this line of work. The result is that the Genealogy charts of Hindus are not getting updated. The Muslims in the ‘Bhil" tribes of Madhya Pradesh have tried to get the Bhats to destroy the old records, to destroy the historical evidence of the tribes being Hindus.
What is needed is a serious effort on behalf of all Indians to revive this tradition. Or find out a way to record the genealogical changes in the families. This will need NGOs, volunteers, and a lot more. But this is of utmost importance that this be done.
Remember, very few people can name their great grandfathers.