Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, 65(2) : (333-340), 2016
Traditional Festivity of Tusu Puja: An Anthropological Appraisal (Brief Communication)
Satabdi KunduMd. Mohidul Islam, Shyamal Kumar Nandi
Anthropological Survey of India, Eastern Regional Centre, Kolkata, West Bengal
Tusu puja, a folk cultural tradition of Rarh Bengal is famous for its grandeur. This festival throws a great opportunity for each and every community of the region to interact cohesively and to renew interrelationship within and among the communities through cultural beliefs and practices. Various folk performances are held during this festive occasion. This traditional folk festival is changing day by day with influence of external trends but the inner essence of the festival and ritual remains with the same spirit as earlier with their traditional songs and dances that always enriched this age old cultural heritage. Sabar, an indigenous community of the region, also observes this regional festival with grandeur in their own traditional way. An attempt has been made here to understand the Sabar tradition in relation to the regional cultural scenario. The present paper is based on the first hand information from the Sabars of Sarasbedia village in the district of Bankura, West Bengal.
Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, 65(2) : (319-332), 2016
Social Support and Its Implications on Health: An Anthropological Study of the Elderly Residing in Old Age Homes
Department of Anthropology, Panjab University, Chandigarh
Social support becomes increasingly important factor in one’s life as a person ages. Caring the elderly was never a problem. However, in the last two to three decades, the rapid pace of modernisation and urbanisation taking place in the country has been affecting the status of the elderly. With more nuclear families, long term care of the elderly and meeting their needs on the physical, social and health fronts is becoming very difficult. The present study is carried out among the elderly inmates residing in old age homes of four cities; three of Punjab namely Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and one Union Territory of Chandigarh. A total of 350 elderly comprising of 160 men and 190 women aged 60 years and above residing in the 15 old age homes form sample of the present study. Age sixty was considered as a cut-off age for the elderly. The present paper deals with role of social support, social support network and social visits in the life of elderly persons residing in the old age homes. It is assumed that the social support and social network of the elderly is reduced after they start residing in old age homes. It was found that better social support network helps the elderly to cope with adverse conditions while living in old age home. In the present study better social support network is found to be prevalent among the elderly men before joining the old age home as well as after joining the old age home. The social support among the inmates in old age home in the form of social visits by the loved ones helps them in reducing stress, increasing and improving mental wellbeing.
Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, 65(2) : (307-317), 2016
Poverty alleviation and Sustainable Livelihood of the Tribals: A Case Study in Sundarban
Anthropological Survey of India, Eastern Regional Centre, Kolkata, West Bengal
The majority of the rural masses are still in the grip of poverty although various programme and policies have been taken by Government of India for alleviating poverty during past decades. Poverty and unemployment which go hand in hand are the major factors for declining the prosperity of any region. The present article examines the relationship between poverty and sustainability of the tribals in the district of 24 Parganas (South) of West Bengal. The tribal and non-tribal people, who are living adjacent to Sundarban Tiger Reserve, ekeout their livelihood in a situation where the land is infertile and the creek water is saline. Understandably, the dependency on the river and the forest resources is more. In addition, the fear of crocodile and tiger and prohibitive rule and regulation of the forest department have further increased the hardships of the people. This article attempts to throw light on evaluation of poverty alleviation programmes and the prospects of achieving sustainable livelihood goals of the tribals in Sundarban.
Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, 65(2) : (285-306), 2016
Reformation and Rehabilitation of Yerukala: A Nomadic-De-notified Tribe in Andhra Pradesh
Department of Social Sciences and Humanities, Regional Institute of Education NCERT, Mysore, Karnataka
For longer periods in history, tribes had little or no intercourse with people in the plains areas and were uninfluenced by the so called civilizing influences. The relative isolation led to their backwardness as the agents of development deployed by the mainstream state could not penetrate into the deeper forest regions. The situation underwent a change with the advent of the British who saw great opportunity of exploiting the forest wealth by intruding into the private spaces hitherto inhabited by adivasis. To avoid the problem posed by tribes, the British government passed the first Criminal Tribes Act in 1871 under the pretext of controlling the rate of crime. Under the Act, several tribes were declared criminal and settlements were started where tribesmen and women were lodged. The task of their management was entrusted to voluntary agencies such as Salvation Army, Chief Anjuman Islamia, Arya Samaj etc. In addition, the government too at some places was directly involved in organizing reformatory settlements. Settlements were classified under agricultural, industrial, reformatory and penal settlements. Yerukalas and Katheras are two ex-criminal tribes of Andhra Pradesh. These two groups are stigmatised as dacoits, burglars, pilferers, thieves and railway wagon breakers. Stuartpuram is one of the settlements established in 1914 by the colonial government. It was an agricultural settlement put under the management of Salvation Army. The organisation executed monumental development programmes for the benefit and welfare of the settlers. They included agriculture, education, health and vocational training activities. Salvation Army enjoyed judicial powers while managing the settlement. Basic approach to change and reform of the settlers adopted by the organisation was religious in nature which as such had some inbuilt limitations. The Salvation Army was active for almost four decades before the tribal welfare department took over the settlement after independence. The organization continues its religio-social work till date. The second major attempt at reforming and mainstreaming inhabitants of Stuartpuram settlement was initiated in the year 1974 by a group of secular and a religious humanists from the Atheist Centre, Vijayawada. Criminal reformation is three dimensional process involving different kinds of actors and characters: criminals themselves, the state machinery including police/government officials and finally society at large. Of these variables, surrounding society plays a major role, either to accept or deny reformed criminals into mainstream ways of life. When this variable is in place, rest of the variables follow the suit. Samskar (NGO) represented this important social variable in the process of social reform and rehabilitation of members of Stuartpuram colony. The organisation executed its work in five phases through a strategy known as Three Generation Approach. Major emphasis of social reformers during the process had been on social integration and area development through 3G Approach. Social reform experiments in a DNT colony hint at one important historical lesson that traditional approaches to the problem of despised social heritage has reduced scope for reform of diehard avocations of hardened criminals. On the other, humanist and democratic interventions provide enough social space for bringing about the desired change.
Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, 65(2) : (277-284), 2016
Understanding Man Nature Symbiosis – The Need for a New Ethics
Department of Philosophy,Barasat Govt. College, Barasat, West Bengal
Our Earth, in which we live, breathe, grow and finally meet our end is full of life and vitality. Unfortunately this green and blue planet is confronting severe crises from different aspects. The anthropomorphism of man, his attitude and behavior towards Earth and her creatures are mainly responsible for this crisis. Man’s indomitable tendency to establish authority over nature can be traced back since the early periods of human civilization. Barring a few eastern civilizations, western world tried to rule over animals, plants and other species making use of man’s courage, power, unlimited greed and propensity to become sovereign ruler of the earth. Religions sanctions which authenticated man’s aforesaid desire coupled with gradual but steady scientific and technological developments, were directed towards harnessing nature, but they have undoubtedly left the entire planet amidst a great crisis- crisis of survival from which it is really difficult to come back. Emergence of environmental ethics has undoubtedly contributed towards heralding some positive change in our attitudes thoughts towards ‘others’. Man is now repeatedly reminded by this new morality that all forms of life in nature are inextricably related. Man so long has deliberately ignored the fact that, he is an inseparable part of nature and subject to laws of nature. His irresistible obsession to dominate and exploit nature, should be replaced by a holistic and integrated view of nature.
Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, 65(2) : (251-276), 2016
A Bio-Cultural Profile of Madagada Village in Araku Valley
M. Rajendra Prasad1, J. S. Jaya Sankar Rao, G. V. Ramana and P. Manga Laxmi
Anthropological Survey of India, Southern Regional Centre, Mysore, Karnataka
Madagada, a village situated in Araku Valley of Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh, has been studied on socio-economy and politico-religious structure of the village. The health and nutritional status of the villagers was also assessed through certain anthropometric measurements and indices. The development programmes implemented in the village also studied to know the progress of the village. An attempt has been made to explore changes that took place in the society and culture of the village, based on earlier study conducted by the Tribal Cultural Research and Training Institute in 1968.
Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, 65(2) : (237-250), 2016
An Anthropological Study of Belief and Practices in a Deltaic Region: A Case Study Sundarban
Anthropological Survey of India, Eastern Regional Centre, Kolkata, West Bengal
The Sundarban delta is a not only a heritage of India but also the biggest delta of the world. The villages falling under the Indian side of Sundarban delta are multi-ethnic and multi-religious in composition. The people of Sundarban delta have come from different parts of the country and also from abroad. Though agriculture is the main occupation of the villagers, it is supplemented by other terrestrial and aquatic resources as the area is more often than not affected by flood and cyclone. Ingress of saline water on lands renders it unfit for cultivation for three to four years. The people have adapted themselves to a new environment and in the process developed various myths, beliefs and practices. The gods and goddesses occupy an important position in the life and culture of human beings. Among these, the Banobibi, Dakshinrai and Shajangali play a crucial role in the forest based economic life of the people of Sundarban delta region which comprised of both Hindus and Muslims. The present study clearly demonstrates that human adaptation to a new environment is a key strategy for survival and nature and culture are co-dependent factors which together influence forms and functions of human life.
Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, 65(2) : (225-236), 2016
Social Exclusion and the Vulnerability to Subversive Activity: Looking into the Ethnic Groups in the Red Corridor of India
Dipak K. Midya
Department of Anthropology, Vidyasagar University, Midnapore, West Bengal
The so-called Red Corridor in India is mostly inhabited by ethnic groups who have been experiencing politico-economic exclusion from the mainstream Indian social system since the pre-colonial days. Notwithstanding the fact that India happens to be one of the major Nation-States in the global context, the people over here suffer from illiteracy, health carelessness, malnutrition, along with the common practice of early marriage and its resultant consequences. The development inputs of our Nation State hardly ever reached the region populated by such people. The parliamentary representatives from such regions are usually chosen from among the ‘outsiders’ or from the insiders who could be easily controlled by the ‘outsiders’. As a result, the needs and aspirations of the ethnic groups living along the region of the so-called Red Corridor are practically never met up. This results in their evident alienation from the politico-economic system of the Nation-State. Under such a situation, the people become vulnerable to subversive activities that are directed against a nation-state in particular and human society in general. The present paper tries to substantiate how the so-called Maoist activists or any subversive force could exploit the situation of social exclusion to their advantage and became fairly successful in posing internal security threat to Indian sovereignty as well as to life of the general people. The study deals with the Santal, Bhumij and Sabar tribes of Paschim Medinipur in West Bengal. It shows that greater the extent of social exclusion of the ethnic groups living in a region, the higher is the degree of their vulnerability toward subversive activities. It also appears that stronger the ethnic elements of the engaging ethnic groups, more will be the possibility of their detachment from the subversive activities as found in Junglemahal.
Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, 65(2) : (201-223), 2016
Social Perspectives of Old Age People: A Study in Siliguri Town
381/1 Goshala Road, Babupara South, Siliguri, West Bengal
The objective of the study was to examine and analyse the extent of the social perspectives of old age people. The sample unit of the study was an adult one having the age of 60 years and above. The sampling traits had been only the old age of both male and female. The data were gathered mainly from primary sources. Besides primary, the data from important secondary sources were collected from various published books, statistical publications, reports, Census Reports, etc. However, in a complex, competitive and constant changing society like India, this study may enlighten some social perspectives of the old age people in terms of various problems faced during their old age. An attempt also has been made finally to raise the issues of old age and thereby attempted to draw necessary measures to be taken for the betterment of the old age peoples’ live.
Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, 65(2) : (185-199), 2016
Working Women in Informal Sector: Geographical Perspective
Sumita Kumari and Arun K. Singh
Department of Geography, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Informal sector is generally a larger source of employment for women in the developing world. Measuring and defining informality is a challenging task and its definition varies over space. The objective of this paper is to highlight the conceptual and theoretical issues related to informal sector at global and national level. The paper also attempts to highlight the macro level analysis of data on employment in the informal economy and highlight the role of women in urban informal sector. The paper reveals the fact that definition of informal sector workers is more about the characteristics of the enterprise rather than the characteristics of the worker and proportion of people in informal employment in non-agricultural activities is significant in south east countries. It also reveals that a large section of women workers is unorganized and unpaid, and therefore does not enter into standard labour force and employment indicators which put them on the margin of the economic system. Present paper is divided into three segments. First segment deals with the conceptual and theoretical issues of urban informal sector. Second segment revolves round the states of informal sector at the global level with focus on South-East Asian region and third segment discusses the issues related to women working in informal sector in India.