Impact of Mgnrega on Status of Tribal Women in Odisha: A Case Study of Rajgangpur Block of Sundergarh District
Dr. Smita Nayak

It is quite widely known that most of India's rural inhabitants are poor and live in poverty, which has been supported by several studies. This is a fact, that even after 66 years of independence and 63 years of implementation of several policies on development and various new legislations and schemes adopted for better human development in tribal areas by the national and state governments from time to time, yet this is very unfortunate that the living standard of tribals of Odisha has hardly improved and state of Odisha continues to occupy the top position in the poverty map of the country. The study for the present purpose was conducted in Rajgangpur Block of Sundargarh district of Odisha. The district has a large tribal population. Out of 62 tribes notified as Scheduled Tribe for Odisha State as many as 40 tribes are found in this district alone. The numerically important tribes are Orans, Mundas, Kharia, Kisan, Bhuyians and Gonds. Concentration of ST is highest in Sundargarh Subdivision. The tribals of Sundargarh district lead a primitive life and inhabit the remote and less accessible areas of the district. They have a rich and diverse cultural heritage of their own. The main sources of livelihood of these tribals are food gathering and hunting, collection of forest produce. Some of the tribes have agriculture as their main occupation while others have adopted cattle breeding, shifting cultivation, artisanship like basket weaving, rope and broom making and pottery and tool making etc. Scores of tribal and rural development programmes have been implemented across tribal areas since independence. However, it is unfortunate that tribals especially tribal women of Odisha are still not an effective part of these inclusive development policies introduced by our national government. Innocent and ignorant tribals are also victims of displacement, losing their land and livelihood, when the question of livelihood is at stake; they are ultimately forced to migrate to cities and neighboring states in large numbers. The rehabilitation package of the displaced tribals does not solve their miseries. Thus, this paper is an attempt to examine the potencies and loopholes in the existing MGNREA and its impact on tribal women in Odisha, especially Rajgangpur Block, which are causing âАШ more alienation than development âАЩ.

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