State, Livelihood and Extreme Events: Observations From Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh

Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, 66(1-2) : (49-64), 2017

State, Livelihood and Extreme Events: Observations From Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh

Prashant Khattri
Department of Anthropology, Allahabad University, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh

Abstract
The increasing frequency and intensity of extreme events is affecting the poor, marginalized and the underdeveloped more severely than the rich and developed sections of the society. In event of the world community setting renewed target under the framework of Sustainable Development Goals, the efforts in extreme event mitigation and securing sustainable livelihood is emerging as a major challenge. The role of state in such a scenario becomes crucial. The discourse on democracy is tied intricately with the idea of welfare state. State here is seen as an agency and a primary stakeholder in the paradigm on development and sustainability. Disasters on the other hand are viewed as an agent of disruption and destruction. Floods especially within the context of Eastern Uttar Pradesh are a recurrent phenomenon, happening almost every year. This perenniality makes floods peculiar within the sub-set of natural disasters. State acts as a primary relief agency in the context of disasters. With the enactment of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, disaster management has been institutionalized and the role of state has become more pro-active involving not only post-disaster recovery and relief but also pre-disaster capacity building and vulnerability reduction. This ensures a larger stake of states in disaster management and achieving sustainable development goals. Perennial on the issue of the role of state, the National Policy on Disaster Management, 2009 has to say the following- “State governments will have to lay emphasis on the restoration of permanent livelihood of those affected by disasters and special attention to the needs of women-headed households, artisans, farmers and people belonging to marginalized and vulnerable sections (DM Policy, 2009; 32).” Within the context of this policy statement, the paper tries to locate the role of state in the sustainable livelihood framework. The notion of restoration of livelihood, its sustainability and resettlement is explored within the context of welfare state, vulnerability and people’s entitlements.

Total Page Visits: 69 - Today Page Visits: 1