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Title: Livelihood of Jhum Farmers Within the Paradigm of Development: A Study of K. Savumpa Village, Khengjoi Block, Manipur
Authors: Haokip, M. Mangkholen
Keywords: MA in Social Work- 2014
Barooah, Samhita
Jhum Farmers-Livelihood
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: TISS Guwahati Campus
Abstract: Jhuming has been one tr aditional agricultural method which is largely practice in the tropical and sub t ropical regions of the world. In India it is largely practice in the northeastern region mainly by the tribal communities who inhabit the hills. It has served not only as a source of livelihood but their social and cult ural practices are deeply embedded in it. The colonial era and the post independent India plans for the Jhumias have been not favorable. These series of plans which has been adopted from time to time has in fact tried to contain the practice of Jhuming neglecting the Jhumias in concern, by not consid ering their traditional and cultural practices. This with the contact of Jhumias who are isolated with the outside world of theirs has lead to changes which has slowly shift the traditional Jhuming practices deeply base on understanding and susta inable uti lization of the natural resources and the ecosystem at large . The study focuses on understanding of the livelihood of the Jhumias. It looks into the social and cultural imperativ es of Jhuming. It also focus on the changes that have taken place in the pract ices of Jhuming which is otherwise regarded as tr aditional agricultural practice . Then it tries to locate the livelihoods of the Jhumias within the development discourses. This focus es on the land question besides infrastructural necessities especially o n health and education which form the basis for human development. The study found out that Jhuming in its practice is deeply embedded in the social and cultural ethos of the people especially in the field village who belongs to Kuki groups of people. This i s manifested in the various festivals associated with Jhuming such as Ch ang - Ai, Kut etc. The kukis have a well concept of self help among themselves especially in Jhuming processes. They have a well management of labour called Lawm which facilitates every household to complete the Jhuming tasks. The Lawm is not only associated with the labour requirements but this also is associated with festivals called the Lawm Selkai . Thus there is a labour organization of work while also there a re festivals associated with it which form the basis on how their lives are organized. The study also found that the Jhuming pra ctices undergo continues change mainly due to the contact with the market forces which popularize monetary value. The penetration of monetary value has changed the productive relations from self subsisting economy to profit oriented economy. In fact though Lawm still exists, celebration of various festivals like Chang - Ai and various Kut ’ s at the village level is rare in contemporary time s . Their lives are greatly influenced by the market forces. Though the Jhumias cannot capture the market attention, it has tried to. But this has been difficult due to the m arginality nature of livelihood of the Jhumias. They remain at the margin of technological innovation s and development discourses. The market forces has in fact introduce the use of pesticides, which is never used before but now man y felt it necessary to use it for controlling the pests. If extensive utilization is practice and it progressively continues, then it would lead to ecological degradat ion and environmental pollution which will subsequently lead to endangerment of their livelihood. The study also found that the policies of the state and the development discourses has only lead to endangerment of the lives of the Jhumias. The land question which is the basic resources has arisen in the state due to the state policy of encroaching upon the tribal lands through extension of MLR&LR Act, 1960 in the hill areas of the state. This would lead to transfer of land to the non tribals squeezing the land where Jhumias dwell. If there are limitations of land then Jhuming practices would be affected and become unsustainable for the Jhumias as jhum cycle would be greatly reduce which would lead to degradation of their cultural and traditional practices . Besides this the Jhumias remains on the margin of infrastructures in health and education, roads an d communication and various other institutions which form the basis of enhancing their well being. Thus one can find continuous marginaliz ing of the marginaliz ed Jhumias.
Appears in Collections:M.A.

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