Impact of Planned Development: A Micro Study of the Socioeconomic Dynamics of the Aboriginals of Central India

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Change is a multidimensional process initiating in few or several aspects of the society but gradually encompassing all its aspects. The change agents, intrinsic or external, play a vital role in determining the degree, direction and intensity of change. The present study was conducted in three villages inhabited by ThakurGonds, a subgroup of numerically highest and geographically most widely spread aboriginals of Central India, Gonds. Gonds have profound mentioning in the mythological and historical literature of India. However, the present study is the first anthropological study carried out in this area by the author of this paper. The history of planned change is very recent in the area under study. The area was amidst the thick forest and the inhabitants of this area were looked upon with the sense of awe of mystery by the people living in the nearby town. Due to the small closely- knit entity of these villages, change was studied and compared at village level. The two prominent factors of change in this area are religious intervention through the construction of a Temple by a Hindu Sage and implementation of Planned Development activities by the government since 1982. Both these factors are intertwined in the local set up and had tremendous effect on the lives of the local people. The results show a mixed response of the people towards the change, which is very obvious in the initial stages and could be explained on the lines of Ogburn’s theory of cultural lag. There is resistance or hesitation, acceptance and rejection too. It has been found that the distance from the sources of stimulus, intergenerational gap, factors of motivation and socio-cultural barriers have played a vital role in the process of change. These have been discussed in detail in the present paper.

Keywords: Socio-Cultural Change, Religious Intervention, Cultural Lag, Aboriginals, Planned Development, Central India
Stream: Globalisation
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Anima Sharma

Middle Range Management
New Delhi, India

I am an M. Phil and Ph. D. in Anthropology from Delhi University, India. My Ph. D. was on Socio- Cultural change and in M. Phil my focus was on the impact of Planned Development on the sociocultural lives of the natives. The population selected for both the academic programmes are one of the most ancient and aboriginal people inhabiting the deep forests of Central INDIA. They are numerically highest and geographically most widely distributed population. Also, ethnically they are most interesting group of people as they exhibit a tremendous range of diversification in terms of their physical attributes as well as sociocultural life.

I have fieldwork experience in Tribal, Rural and Slum/Urban areas in various parts of India. I have presented research papers in National and International Seminars and few of them have also been published. I have two published books and few research papers to my credit based on the empirical data from my fieldwork in the above-mentioned areas.

Since 1998 after completing my Doctorate, I have worked in various research bodies and NGOs as Research Associate, Social Researcher/ Scientist, Project Coordinator Senior Programme Manager, and Consultant etc. mostly in the areas of health and development.

Presently, I am working in the community outreach programme through Community Service Centres under the National e-Governance Plan of Govt. of India with a Corporate Office.

Ref: H08P0301