CSS ( Centre For Social Studies) Centre for Social Studies
An Autonomous Social Science Research Institute Supported by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and Government of Gujarat (GoG)

1. A Sociological Study of Exodus of Dalits in Rural Gujarat

Researcher : Arjun Patel

Funding Agency: Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi

The main objective of the study is to understand the nature of caste relations, particularly of dalits and non-dalits in Gujarat with reference to the societal structure and the changes that have taken place in the wider society in post 1960s. Various scholars and studies (Makwana Manubhai, 1998: Macwan Martin and Desai: 1998, Jani Indukumar: 1996, Report on National commission 1996-97 n.d.) have pointed out that social relations among various castes in Gujarat have not been harmonious. Like many other states, the dalit conflict is not new to Gujarat. The incidents of such dalit conflicts often appear in the local newspapers or in the local periodicals. Gujarat stands fourth in rank in India in terms of the number of such incidents occurred per one lakh population. The worry-some fact is that there are more than dozens of cases of Dalit exodus from rural Gujarat that have taken place during the last three decades.

The proposed study is a continuation of the ongoing interest of the CSS. While conducting another study of dalit non-dalit relations in Gujarat, we came across the incidents of dalit exodus in more than a dozen of cases. Few examples of Dalit exodus from villages include Bhilji-Aniyani, Valar, Mithapur, Neshda, Vaghad, Cher, Surval, Adval, Khatin, Papli, Dholera, Detroj, Balsiyali, Kalmodar, Ramparda, Kadipur, Bhojpur, Sondha, Shahpur, Ramodar, Dhanla, Bhadiyad, Kadi, Sandhida, Chavad, Sitapur, Pankhan. The question of enmass exodus of Dalits is complex and difficult to understand superficially and hence it requires an in-depth study sociologically for understanding the nature of the above mentioned problem and its solution. What condition led the dalits to take the extreme steps for the mass exodus from their original village where they have been residing generations together? What are the structural reasons of it? How the conditions of dalits and non-dalits have changed over the last 40 years or so? How these changes have affected their relations? What are the different forms of untouchability and discrimination of the dalits that are practiced in rural Gujarat? What kinds of problems dalits face during the process of exodus? What was the role-played by the government bureaucracy, police, media, court etc. in such incidents? These are some of the questions addressed by the proposed study by using various research techniques like conducting informal talk, interview schedules, interview guides etc. The draft report has been submitted to the ICSSR and comments/ suggestions have been received and work on those comments and suggestion is in progress. The empirical data gathered through interview scheduled are coded, tabulated and incorporated in chapter form. The review of literature is added. It is expected that the report will be completed by end of June 2019.

Date of Commencement : July 2012
Expected Date of Completion : June 2019

2. An Exploration into Nutritional Status of Tribal Communities in Gujarat

Researchers : Gagan Bihari Sahu

Funding Agency: Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi

Food deprivation among tribes is disproportionately higher than other population groups. A repeat survey by NMMB reflects that there has been a considerable decline in the food intake among the tribes over the years. Studies conducted on various tribes living in different parts of the country also find their food nutritionally deficient with low consumption of pulses, cereals and vegetables then the recommended dietary allowances. The National Family Health Survey-4 (2015-16) shows a high prevalence of nutritional deficiency among adult tribal of reproductive age groups with female and male proportion being 31.7% and 25.2%, respectively. It is alarming when seen among tribal children of less than five years of age. About 43.8% of them were too short for their age and 45.3% were underweight. It implies that approximately every second tribal child from India might not have reached its physical or mental potential and a sizeable proportion of them might be functionally impaired. This suggests that the impoverished status of tribal population continues irrespective of the economic development of the state.

Though several studies point to poor nutritional status and low food consumption by tribes, they tend to see them as homogenous entity overlooking the cultural and material differences between various communities. The data thus conceal the situation of more marginalised group within the community. Within this context, this study specifically looks at the nutritional status of four tribal communities namely Konkana, Gamit, Kotwalia and Kolgha belonging to major and primitive tribal groups of Gujarat.

For this study, data have been collected through canvassing a structured questionnaire at households’ level from 12 villages of Valsad, Dang and Tapi districts having a relatively higher concentration of such communities. These households were randomly selected. From each tribal community, information was collected from 100 households.

Nutritional status of these tribes has been assessed by using Composite Index of Anthropometric Failure (CIAF) method. To gain more insights into the issue, their socio-economic status, access to services provided under ICDS, Public Distribution System (PDS) etc., have been analysed to understand the issues pertaining to food basket and nutritional deficiency. Data analysis and report writing are under progress and it is expected to submit by end of September 2019.

Date of Commencement : March, 2013
Expected Date of Completion : September, 2019

3. Tribes in Gujarat: Interrogating Social Change and Development

Researcher : Dinesh R Chaudhari and Satyakam Joshi.

Funding Agency : Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi

Gujarat has a sizable proportion of tribal population (14.8%, census 2011) which is almost double the national average (8.6%, census 2011). The tribal population of Gujarat is concentrated in the eastern hilly region and the forest belt from Banaskantha district in north to the Dangs district in south. Due to construction of various irrigation projects, a large number of tribals have been displaced from their native lands, forcing them to migrate to towns and cities in search of employment. The present study reviews the legislative framework pertaining to the tribals by focusing on acts like Panchayats Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA), Forest Rights Act (FRA) etc. and understanding issues associated with their implementation at the field level. Experiences of various tribal groups and agencies of the state in the process of implementing such legal frameworks are also being studied.

The present study focuses on five major aspects of Scheduled tribes areas and study on village from each of kwolghi committee rank most backward tribal taluka for in depth interview to understand the ground realities and to create a village profile as well as a baseline census study of all households of these villages.

The study also focuses on land alienation, displacement, livelihoods and migration patterns and their interconnectedness. The project also has a component aimed at understanding the status of health among tribals. Under this component, indigenous healing system of tribals is being studied and an attempt will be made to comprehend changes that have taken place over a period of time resulting in dilution, integration or replacement of indigenous healing system with the modern allopathic health care system. In 2005, government of Gujarat appointed Kwolghi committee to identify the most backward talukas of Gujarat. The committee used 44 development indicators to identify backward talukas and 19 tribal talukas were identified as most backward talukas. Villages were selected on the basis of geographical location, type of tribes inhabiting in the village and overall village population and cultural profile. We have selected one village from each of these most backward tribal talukas (total 12) for an in-depth inquiry. In order to understand the ground realities and create a village profile, a baseline census study of all village households has been carried out by including major components of sub-themes. The data collection and the analysis of data have been completed. First draft of monographs on villages has been prepared. Report writing is under preparation.

Date of Commencement : December 2013
Expected Date of Completion : December 2019

4. A Study of Food Security of the Tribals in Gujarat

Researcher : Gagan Bihari Sahu and Satyakam Joshi

Funding Agency : Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi

Ensuring food security has been an issue of great importance in India. Despite being a country with substantial food grain production, we are still a nation with the highest number of malnourished children. Output indicators of food and nutrition seem to be very low for Scheduled tribes in India and particularly in Gujarat. Within this context, the present study aims to examine the extent, nature and dimensions of food insecurity at the household level in the tribal belt of Gujarat. The specific objectives of the study are: (1) what programmes and policies India has followed in order to realize food and nutrition security? Mapping the coordination and contradictions between the state and central government, if any, during implementation of these programmes. Are there any special provisions earmarked in the existing programmes to ensure food security in tribal region?; (2) To identify leakages and constraints created by interest groups in the process of distribution of food/food grains at local level; (3) To estimate the contribution of government ‘food security’ programmes towards the households; (4) Examine the efforts made by the households to bridge the gap, if any, in order to attain food security; and (5) To make an assessment of who does what in order to bridge the gap between ‘need and received’. Fieldwork will be started soon. ection is going on.

Date of Commencement : July, 2014
Expected Date of Completion : December, 2019

5. Inclusive Rural development through Anand Pattern Co-operative Dairy in Gujarat

Researcher : Dilip Shah (Rt. Professor and currently an affiliated scholar with the Centre)

Funding Agency : Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi

The research project is revisit research as the project director had done Ph.D. and doctoral studies in the area of Anand pattern dairy co-operatives almost two decades ago (1980-2000). The Anand pattern dairy co-operative model is regarded as powerful for farmers’ organization with all tools of development in the hands of farmers. Over a period of time, it has made very great progress but to what extend the benefits of the progress shared by disadvantaged groups such as tribal and women so that they could be included in the development in other words inclusive rural development. This is a major focus of the study. The strong conceptual building and appropriate tools and parameters will be developed to assess 15 hypothesis derived out of literature. The study is basically an exercise with secondary data but limited primary data with personal interviews etc. will be generated to ensure the validity of analysis and concluding findings and policy suggestions based on these conclusions for the accelerated process of the inclusive development through the Anand pattern dairy co-operatives with modified version or new generation of milk producers’ company.

Date of Commencement : 1 March 2018
Expected Date of Completion : June 2019

6. A Study on Family Association as Social Capital: A Case of Shri Ramkrishna Export’s Family and its Mobility.

Researcher: Satyakam Joshi

Funding Agency : SRK Knowledge Foundation, Surat.

This study is on and about documenting and understanding the contribution of social welfare activities carried out by the owner of the leading diamond business house named Shri Ramkrishan Export of the Surat city for his family as well as for the society. The owner of Shri Ramkrishna Exports – one of leading diamond polishing and business houses, whose annual turnover is around Rs.8500 crores, Shri Govindbhai Dholakia, popularly known as Govind Bhagat, has also brought his entire family of around 1000 persons from Saurashtra and could able to made all members economically independent. Today Govindbhai runs a diamond export house whose turnover is around Rs.8500 crores and give employment to 5000 persons. Most of the family members are staying together as a joint family and also their bond with each other is very strong. Family unit is the backbone of the SRK industry. Govindbhai believes that if I am getting luxurious facilities then my family members also should get the same. He shows to it that his near and distance family members become self-reliant and also enjoy the facilities that he enjoys it. With this belief he started bringing his close and distance relatives from Saurashtra and helped them in settling them. This efforts of Govindbhai brought many fold changes among his fellow family members. Apart from making family economically independent and socially sound Govindbhai is a philanthropist also and he firmly believes that whatever he earnest least 10 percent share ofhis earning should go to welfare of people. In light of this he established various charitable trust such as Shri Ramkrishna Charitable Trust, Shri Ramkrishna welfare trust, Dholakia Charitable trust, Matushri Santokba Laljibhai Dholakia charitable Trust and Shri Ramkrishna Knowledge Foundation. Though these trusts and foundation he undertakes various welfare activities like scholarships to poor students, health check-ups, medical relief centre, community marriages, water conservation in Saurashtra region, 'save girl child' campaign etc. This study will describe the process of social mobility of a migrant caste community, the Saurashtra Patel, in the city of Surat. This study will also be significance to show that this migrant family membership and their identity is not only significant in their struggle for a higher social status, but also provide a vital sense of belonging, security and dignity in an environment characterized by rapid social change, economic and social stability, and a multitude of different culture, language and lifestyles. This study will also further reveal the effort and struggle made by head of the Indian family to uplift their family members with certain ethos. Mainly Case studies method will be used for data collection. Currently the field work is in progress.

Date of Commencement : September 2018.
Expected Date of Completion : December 2019.