Accepted paper:

Disaster vulnerability and its linkages to caste: A case study of Post-cyclone village of Motto in India


Sapam Ranabir Singh (Panjab Univeristy)

Paper short abstract:

Vulnerability is socially determined and depends on many factors that include exposure, marginalization, physical susceptibility, socio-economic fragility and lack of resilience. It is made up of the characteristics of a person or group and their situation that influence their capacity to anticipate, to cope with, resist and recover from the impact of a natural hazard. In this research article an attempt is made to locate the term vulnerability and its association with caste in a hierarchical village setting in India.

Paper long abstract:

This paper is based on the study conducted in the Motto village in Puri district of Orissa, India. The study mainly used qualitative methods driving extended narratives from people impacted by the Orissa Super Cyclone of 1999. Factors that affect social vulnerability include lack of access to resources such as information and knowledge to cope with stress generated by natural disasters. There is complete absence of technological avenues to minimise these losses in remote areas of Orissa and rehabilitation efforts further get hampered because of deep rooted caste and ethnic biases. The research study has documented several case histories that demonstrate intense linkages between vulnerability and caste identity in local context and asserts the need for detailed anthropological inquiry in the subject.

panel PE53
Anthropology of crises and disasters