MODEL FOR TRIBAL DEVELOPMENT:A CASE STUDY OF JHARKHAND IN RURAL INDIA
INTRODUCTIONTHE PROBLEM- Growing extremism in tribal areas as a result of absence ofdevelopment.- The state that used to be perceived as a ‘welfare’ state afterindependence has come to be experienced as a ‘terrorist’state primarily by the marginalized sections of the society.- The socialist model of development enshrined in theconstitution of India, implying equality and equity of each andevery citizen of India no matter what caste, religion, andethnic group one belonged to, has shifted to neo-liberalmodel which favors the rich and neglects the poor.
Part IBACKGROUND TO THE TRIBAL DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA
Development in the colonial period- The British tried to bring tribals to themainstream culture through certain policies- Engaged revenue collectors, forest officials, andlocal people to collect data pertaining to thesepeople- The Forest Act 1927, meant to protect forests,went against the tribal as well as non-tribalcommunities dependent on the forests for theirlivelihood.
Two schools of thought concerning the tribal development existed in the British period:- AssimilationThe idea that the tribal development was possibleby assimilating the tribals into the ‘mainstream’India-IsolationTo preserve the socio-cultural identity of the tribalsocieties and allowing them to develop accordingto their own indigenous knowledge system andpractices
Development in the post-independence period (1947-1990)- British policy of isolation was shifted to theintegration model of tribal development- Various conventional programs were started inthe tribal areas for bringing about social andeconomic change among the tribal people.- New direct and indirect measures were imposedto promote the integration of the tribals.
Five-Year Plans - No special attempts - Certain schemes on education and First Plan 1951-56 welfare - Expenditure on economic upliftment raised from Rs. 4.32 crores to Rs. 16.86 crores - 43 Special Multipurpose Tribal Blocks (SMPT) established in ST areasSecond Plan 1956-61 415 Tribal Development Blocks set up Third Plan 1961-69 489 Tribal Development Blocks had come into existenceFourth Plan 1969-74 Attention directed at: - areas of tribal concentration - dispersed tribals Fifth Plan 1974-78 - Primitive Tribal Groups (PTG)
Five-Year Plans - contd. Intensive Integrated Development (IID) and Modified Area Development Approach (MADA) under the Tribal sub-plan (TSP) for pockets of 10,000 tribal population of whichSixth Plan 1980-85 at least 50 percent are scheduled tribes About 40 lakhs scheduled tribe families below the poverty line were targeted for economic assistanceSeventh Plan 1985-90 - Adequate emphasis was laid on agriculture and education of the tribals - Special schemes for the educationalEighth Plan 1992-97 development of tribal women Aimed to empower STs by creating a conducive environment for them to enjoy their rights and privileges at par with the restNinth Plan 1997-2002 of society. Focused on tackling the unresolved issues and providing opportunity for the tribals to empower themselves with the strength ofTenth Plan 2002-07 their own potentials.
As it can be seen, 63 years afterindependence and 10 five-year plans later,tribal development is still in question.The main reason being there is no politicalwill to implement good legislation for tribaldevelopment.
Draft National Tribal PolicyThe draft national tribal policy tries to address theissues concerning lower Human DevelopmentIndex, poor infrastructure, diminishing control overnatural resource base, persistent threats ofeviction from their habitat, exclusion frommainstream and economy in distribution of wealthand opportunities and non-empowerment and toplace Scheduled Tribes on a progressive andconstructive path and make them active partnersin nation building
Part II IMPACT OF THE PRESENT MODEL OF DEVELOPMENTContradictions and paradoxes of India:Firstly, the old India and the new India - The Indiaafter Independence, the old India, was perceivedby the Indians, particularly by the tribals, thepeasants, and the marginalized sections of thesociety, as a socialist state.- Today’s India seems to be on the side of the richand the elite.
Secondly, the rich India and the poor India - Thisis the time when the country claims to have morethan 8% economic growth. The irony, however, isthat majority of the people, especially living in therural areas, who are mostly tribals, are notbenefiting from the development process. Hence,it appears as if there are two Indias—one is theIndia of the rich and the other is the India of thepoor.- There is scientific and technological progress onthe one hand, however, very few people arebenefiting from the process of development.
Thirdly, the mainstream India and subalternity -The dominant societies of India, those that arepowerful and affluent economically, educationally,and politically, claim to be the mainstream.- Minority societies across the country claim thatthey are the mainstream and that there is no needfor them to be assimilated into the so-callednational mainstream.- The marginalized groups are the victims ofvarious forms of violence and hence the claim ofthe country to be ‘civilized’ can be contested.
Fourthly, democracy of the rich and thedemocracy of the poor - India claims to be thelargest democracy in the world but in fact thereare two democracies in India - the democracy ofthe rich and the democracy of the poor.- There are incidences of rampant displacement,migration, unemployment, land grabbing, and soon account of the so-called development.- The worst affected are the women and children.In the last 60 years more than 60 million peoplehave been displaced due to various ‘development’projects. Of the total displaced more than 40% aretribals. Of the total displaced only 24% have beenrehabilitated.
Fifthly, consciousness among marginalized people(peasants, tribals/indigenous peoples) - In thepast Tribal/Indigenous Peoples/Peasant revoltedagainst the British, the landlords, contractors andexploiters.- At present, there is extremism/violence in tribalareas known as ‘Red corridor’ and many believethat this form of violence is the consequence oflack of development in tribal areas, theirexploitation, and alienation of the naturalresources and other means of livelihood.
PART IIIDEVELOPMENT IN JHARKHAND: A CASE STUDY
- ‘Development’ in common parlance meansprogress and enhancement of people’s well being.- Development is a process of transformation inthe socio-economic life of the people—frompoverty to general well being, from ignorance andilliteracy to knowledge and education, from illhealth, hunger and disease to sound health andall round competence, and from oppressed anddehumanized situations to freedom and dignifiedlife.
Small-scale development- Small-scale development is a model that ispeople oriented, wherein there is no humandeprivation or environmental and ecologicaldegradation.- Rather than having huge dams displacingmillions of people, the small and medium-sizecheck-dams are proposed, where there is nodanger of any displacement.-Other small-scale projects are in the areas ofalternative measures of power generation such asthe natural gas, the wind power and solar energy,wherever feasible.
Alternative development model suited to thetribals of JharkhandThe small-scale community based development model issuitable for the tribals of Jharkhand for the following reasons:1. In this model there is no land alienation or displacement because of the project.2. This model is based on the value of community ownership.3. People are taken into confidence right from the planning stage up to the project’s implementation. The supporting agencies are in fact at the service of the people, who are the real masters and owners of the, project.4. It is the people themselves who decide the system ofproject management. Village people are trained to supervise,repair, and maintain the unit. They also decide the mode oftheir contribution to the project and the distribution ofelectricity generated from their unit.
- Agriculture in Jharkhand portrays a backwardeconomy, which has not made any significantdeparture from traditional mode of cultivation.- There is a low crop yield and a semi stagnationof growth rate of production.
Factors accounting for backwardness ofagriculture in Jharkhand are small increase inmodern inputs like HYV seeds, irrigation,fertilizer, pesticides and farm implements.Despite adverse geo-physical conditions, thereexists a good potential for raising crop yields andagricultural diversification in Jharkhand. The statehas a groundwater potential of 482 crores cubicmeters per year, but only 4.1% of it has beenexploited so far for irrigation.Besides, canal irrigation could be harnessed from somerivers having enough water up to January-February likefrom Amanat, Auranga, Sankh and Ghaghra. Similarly, liftirrigation schemes could be used to improve agriculturein Jharkhand.
Horticultural products like pea, cauliflower,cabbage, potato, brinjal, and so on are dispatchednot only to the regional markets (Ranchi,Jameshedpur, Lohardaga, Daltonganj, andGarwah) but also to distant regional centers likeCalcutta, Rourkela, Bhilai, etc.The extension of irrigation facility will further boostthe cultivation of vegetables and also fruits likepapaya, mango, and lichi.The scientists of Birsa Agricultural University havediscovered high yielding varieties of differentcrops yielding as much as 2-3 times higher, whichwas obtained by the farmers who used them.
Government-NGO network for agriculturedevelopmentThe unique model of Government-NGOcooperation for agriculture development inLohardaga District has been very impressive.At the invitation of the District Administration ofLohardaga in 1992, an NGO called PRADAN,agreed to work in Kisko Block and signed an MoU(Memorandum of Understanding). The whole ideawas to promote agriculture development throughSelf-Help Groups.
Assessment of the progress1. Women’s Self Help Groups (SHG) and livelihood promotion linkage- The SHGs facilitated to provide special purposeloans to meet the credit need of the SHGmembers apart from the normal lending of theSHG.2. Agriculture Intervention(a) Paddy - The objective of the paddy intervention was toimprove the paddy yield of the farmers by availing the properquality of the seed, motivating and training the farmers onnursery raising, transplantation, application of the fertilizersand pesticides.
(b) Maize - The objective of the program was tohelp the family of the SHG members to cultivatemaize and pigeon pea (mixed cropping) withproper package and practices by helping thefamily in getting loans, getting quality inputs,building the skills and marketing the produces.(c) Vegetables - The objective of the program wasto build the capacity of the farmers in taking highprofit year round, vegetable cultivation bymotivating, training, linking them with the SHG forworking capital needed and lending them with theseed shops for availing inputs.
3. PoultryThe team had the plan to do the following:- Constructing 150 rearing sheds, 15 mother unitsand 1 warehouse cum training centre.- Increasing the number of rearers to 150 throughselection and training.- Increasing the production efficiency4. Dairy - There is a chilling plant having potentialof 10,000 litres in Lohardaga, but it runs below itscapacity. So it was proposed in Rashtriya SramVikas Yojna (RSVY) to work in Dairy with 600families in collaboration with the District DairyDevelopment in 3 years.
PART IV CONCLUSIONThe Government-NGO cooperation has beenunique for agriculture development in Lohardgathrough the promotion of SHGs. It has all themajor components of agriculture development -cultivation of paddy, maize and vegetables as wellas rearing of poultry and dairy farms. One mustlearn the process of development interventionfrom this model.
First, the need to identify the main problems andissues of the area in terms of agriculturedevelopment.Second, the formation of SHGs and training foragriculture development.Third, the inputs are provided and the agriculturalactivities are operationalized.Fourth, the products are marketed.
The purpose of this paper has been threefold:1. Understanding the concept of development,examining the current development scenario asper this understanding and making a newbeginning or reinforcing the praxis if the process isalready on.2. Conceptual clarity is indeed very important inany development process. This is neededbecause of the changing situations and contextsthat throw newer challenges. The lexicon ofdevelopment also changes based oh newknowledge gained from experiences in the fieldnot only in one’s locality but also in the countryand across the country at large.
3. The two models of development presented inthe discussion -- agriculture and mini-hydropowergeneration -- are examples to know howalternative development process can be initiatedand how one can emulate them with localadaptations. There are umpteen numbers ofmodels of development, taking place locally,nationally and internationally. One can certainlylearn from them. The areas of developmentintervention are many—health, vocational training,entrepreneurship development, savings and creditand finance and marketing to mention a few.