This panel highlights some trends and issues in the dynamics of social change in South Asia. It particularly focuses on the marginalised, and rural and tribal communities with respect to the issues in participatory development with respect to health, education, migration and human rights.
South Asia is one of the diverse regions of the world with respect to its cultural and geographical landscape. The region has been subject to change due to migration, wars, natural disasters and some demographic trends throughout its history. In the contemporary times, it faces the challenges of poverty, gender issues, illiteracy, malnutrition, diseases, security and other social inequalities. Many governmental and non-governmental, local and international, organisations are working to combat these challenges. Although there has been a significant change in the socio-political and development scenario in some regions resulting in the improvement of economic, health, justice, and education sectors, certain issues prevail in the implementation of developmental policies and practices. This panel seeks to highlight that some of these issues are policy related, having political or legal dimensions, while others are related to the working of various organisation and the sensitivities of the rural and tribal communities towards their indigenous norms and values; therefore broadening our understanding for a free society. The tribal or rural communities in some parts of South Asia have been resisting any change in their social, cultural and economic structure if it were forced or implemented without taking into account the stake of these communities.