Accepted paper:

Development projects and displacement: Impact on women of Rural Odisha, India : An Anthropological assessment


Sabita Acharya (Utkal University)

Paper short abstract:

Displacement of tribal and rural people due to establishment of development projects raises various issues and problems, which are to be studied from anthropological perspectives. As a result displacement causes changes in the socio-cultural and economic life of rural women.

Paper long abstract:

The term 'Development' means to growth, progress, improvement and expansion of a complex process involving the social, cultural, political and economic betterment of people and of society. Government of India has been implementing many development projects in the tribal areas and they were literally chased away from their own traditional land and turned into displaced, landless, migrant people in search of a livelihood. The rehabilitation and resettlement policy of the government is yet to be successful and women are suffering both by state machineries and customary practices. There is no proper effort to identify the discriminatory practices of rural and tribal women in the name of non-interference policy.

The present study is an attempt to assess the impact of development projects on socio-cultural and economic life of rural and tribal women of Odisha. It also studies the problems of displacement which creates dispossession of women as an effect of Government measures taken for their resettlements. It is seen that more number of people especially from among the rural communities has been displaced from their native villages. They are constantly and continuously losing their forest, land, house, source of livelihood and natural surrounding and even their cultural identity. Women are affected the most due to these changes. Both positive and negative consequences of impact situation are evaluated by observing the pattern of changing lifestyle. The shortcomings of development programmes are discussed which can be utilized to get fruitful results for women development of unprivileged sectors.

panel G28
The impact of development projects on the quality of life of women in rural and tribal societies