Livelihood system among koyas
INTRODUCTION In the phase of globalization the question of livelihood has captured all the points of discussion. Various people have defined livelihood differently. Chambers and Conway (1992) define “A livelihood comprises the abilities, assets (stores, resources, claims and access) and activities required for a means of living: a livelihood is sustainable which can cope with and recover from stress and shocks, maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets, and provide sustainable livelihood opportunities to the next generation; and contribute net benefits to other livelihoods at the local and global bevels In the long and In the short term.
In present days the Issue of livelihood has become a topic of concern In the context of tribal communities. Since centuries the tribal communities have been living in and around the forests, practicing hunting and gathering activities, fishing and shifting cultivation have faced difficulties in their survival. Traditionally they depend on forest resources for their livelihoods. Their dependence on forest was not merely for livelihood but also for their cultural requirement.
For these people, forests are Important source of livelihood and means f survival (Saxons, 1999). Though, farming was there It was not much prominent. Their economy was subsistence in nature. Moreover, a number of small tribal groups are completely dependent on the forest for their livelihood. Fernando (1984) argues or that the destruction of forests over the past few decades has deprived tribes of their livelihood, particularly source of food. It has also resulted in their impoverishment, indebtedness and in many cases land alienation and even bondage.
The concept of livelihoods and livelihood analysis emerged In the mild-inlets- loosely associated with poverty reduction strategies. Livelihood of the poor can never be understand in any track logic be it economic, social, technical, cultural or political. The livelihood systems are made up very diverse elements which taken together constitute the physical, economic, social and cultural wherein families live (Hogged, 2006). The life style and tradition of each indigenous community is unique and is related to the utilization of particular natural resource and particular type of work.
They have been collecting resources from forest without causing any damage to It. The forest provides them food and livelihood security. Since tribal communities live in close proximity with biodiversity rich landscapes, they have evolved local specific and novel livelihood strategies based on their indigenous knowledge. This knowledge was passed on through generations and it played an important role in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. By and large, they were depending on nature for their survival.
Social and cultural diversity, coupled with the environmental complexity, have generated diverse approaches and technologies In he management and use of different natural resources (Mishear, 2007). It is important to note that, traditionally villagers, specifically the tribal, managed their affairs and resources on a sustainable basis (Roy Barman, 1993). Their village councils ensured strict observance of institutionalized rules and cultural practices for the sustainable use and management of natural resources.
They also regulated the use of natural resources more carefully. Studies have shown that most of the tribal communities effective methods to conserve them (Agile and Berks, cited from Sings, 1996). Indigenous peoples’ knowledge, conservation beliefs and values, environmentally adaptive and sensitive land use, resource management practices, and determined defense of territory and natural resources have enabled many of them to inhabit in the natural habitats for centuries without destroying their ecosystems and biodiversity (Setters, 1997).
The interaction between human being and nature has always been reciprocal. In tribal communities where there always exist a symbiotic relationship between their livelihood pursuits and the surrounding natural resources ease like the forest, land, water bodies, mineral resource and other flora and fauna. For tribal people, land is important source of livelihoods. Around 90% of tribe’s populations in India are depending on land directly or indirectly for their survival (Versa 1995). Their economy is primarily agro based. Land is the only tangible asset for them.
Apart from the land forest is the second source of their livelihood. They used to collect various minor forest products from forest for their survival. There economy was subsistence in nature. In Kumara, the village selected for the present study, the people’s traditional activities are mostly dependent on forest and agriculture. During traditional society the size of population was small, availability of land per person was sufficient for sustaining and forest was near to their villages and able to fulfill villager’s needs.
They emphasize on equality and collectively while using natural resource. Their custom and tradition were not against the natural law. They have sufficient indigenous knowledge on how to use any plants or herbs as medicine. Significance of the study: Kayos were nomadic people in the past but got changed due to modernized technology. Their society became heterogeneous society because of the adoption of Hinduism, its rituals, festivals, practices, modern education, life style etc. Their culture is being rapidly changed by the influence of mainstream society.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY: 1) To understand the major livelihoods among Kayos of Wrangle. 2) To give an information about the connection between livelihoods and resources 3) To comprehend changing pattern of livelihoods and their coping mechanism. 4) To asses the government interventions in livelihood Data collection in the study area: The study area of KUMARA VILLAGE is under Davit Gram Penchant of Triangular Amanda, Wrangle District of Andorra Pradesh, Which is at a distance of 190 SMS from Hydrated.
The fieldwork was carried out for 25 days as part of the study. Village census: In the first week the census data of the entire village was obtained. All men and women in the village were mostly farmers or agriculture labors, so to collect the census data we had to go in the morning before they leave to their fields. The interviews were conducted as per the convenience of the person after their consent was obtained. Group interviews: about how they organize different activities and informally asked them how they used to do the same activities in the past.
The conversations revealed how they organized work in their respective fields and how obligatory it is to go and work when someone calls . We observed the nature of sharing labor in the village. In the village we can find of villagers taking turns for grazing of animals in the lands, this kind of turns showing the unity of the tribal people. Key informants: Key informants are important in the collection of data regarding for understanding the ways of hunting, rituals processes and also for understanding making of Sara (illegal) cheap liquor which they sell to earn money.
Students of the village who are studying in colleges in Pasta and Hammond were very helpful in gathering information. Edema, Swaths and saran lath were very informative about how they celebrate festivals and how they are collecting minor forest products from forest. They took us to their fields and showed their fields and gave information. Savanna who is working as a forest officer in Pasta gave information about marriage celebrations, family relations etc.
Limitation of the study: As the period of stay was very short and as the first week days were spent in rapport building the time left for actual data collection was very short. Hence sufficient information regarding some aspects could not be collected. Due to time constraint the fieldwork was carried out only for 23 days. If I could have spent much time in field it could have better to get more information. Therefore a detailed study is required to understand how tribal depend on natural resources and or use the resources to make a happy living.
Also the study requires an understanding of how and from where they are getting their livelihood income. Apart from that what other resources are available to them. I have observed their traditional practices to find out the connection (if any) between the availability of resources and how these resources are used in generating their livelihood. They have various resources like land, water, forest. They depend on these resources doing their subsistence to make their life or for leading their life happily.