Accepted Paper:

Ecology, forest and Adivasi women: a feminist critique of survival issues  


Anindita Nayak (Central University of Jharkhand, Ranchi- 835205)

Paper short abstract:

Using feministic critique, I shall compare the situation of Kondh tribal women in Southern Odisha prevailing in the past and now, in view of environmental degradation and industrial encroachments.

Paper long abstract:

Indian indigenous people called Adivasi in popular parlance and scheduled tribe in administrative jargon are among the most deprived and oppressed sections of India. Poverty, exploitation, displacement, land alienation, illiteracy, lack of health facilities, destruction of natural resources, emergence of mining in Adivasi or tribal region which hamper the ethnic culture or tribal life etc. are the major problems of the Indian Adivasi and Dalit population. Adivasis constitute 8.6% of the total population in India (2011 census). Where, women are central to the economy of the tribal society, their total life is being more difficult for the destruction of natural resources. In this presentation we will focus on the women of the Kondh tribe of south Odisha, where F.G. Bailey had studied the initial phase of Adivasi exploitation some six decades ago. One of our approaches is to compare the situation prevailing then and now, specially focusing on the poor rural households who are presently suffering from environmental degradation and industrial encroachments. Obviously the dependence on forest resources has declined and livelihood opportunities collapsed. Nonetheless, Adivasi women are becoming conscious of their rights increasingly as they are exposed to civil society activities and smaller agitations. Indian state has introduced some new laws to empower the oppressed tribespeople. Implimentation of these is tormented as several existing institutional infrastructure need to be transformed.

Panel P065
Indian social anthropology in South Asian perspective: reflection and retrospection