Skip to main content

Joblessness, marginalization among Gujarat tribals, as govt schemes fail


By Rajiv Shah 
The latest Census of India figures have revealed that, despite tall claims of the Gujarat government of development having touched marginalized groups of the state, large sections of the state’s tribal population is facing unprecedented unemployment and marginalization of workforce. An analysis of Census’ data on workers suggests that in the total population of the age group 15 to 34, 2.17 crore, 7.13 lakh persons, or around 3.29 per cent, are found to be seeking jobs. Then there is 9.65 per cent of the population – or 20.93 lakh – in this age group which is forced to work as marginal workers for a period of three to six months in a year. However, a comparison drawn with the two most neglected social groups reveals that while the Dalits of the age group face almost a similar proportion of joblessness and marginalization, the tribals’ predicament remains extremely pitiable.
The Census data go to show that 9.34 per cent of the tribals (2.70 lakh out of 29.67 lakh) – almost triple the proportion of all sections as also Dalits — in this age group are seeking jobs. Worse, 22.46 per cent of the tribals (6.66 lakh out of 27.67 lakh) – or double that of all sections as also Dalits – are forced to work as marginal workers, for a period between three and six months in a year. Thanks lack of job opportunities in the tribal areas, a big proportion of the younger age-group of tribals are known to be forced to migrate out of the backward tribal areas to Gujarat’s metropolitan centres like Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara. They also move to work as migrant workers in the cash rich agricultural fields of South Gujarat, North Gujarat and Saurashtra.
What is particularly astounding is that, tribals make up 38.84 per cent of those who seek jobs in Gujarat in the age-group 15-34 – there are 2.77 lakh tribal job seekers among out of a total of 7.13 lakh. Further, the tribals make up 31.84 per cent of all marginal workers in this age group in Gujarat – 6.66 lakh out of 20.93 lakh. The data do not just suggest that huge regional imbalance continues to exist in Gujarat between the well-off areas of the state and the neglected eastern tribal belt. They also point towards the fact that the 15-point programme, in the name of Adivasi Kalyan Yojna, which the Gujarat government announced almost a decade ago in order to uplift the tribals by building infrastructure facilities in the eastern belt, has not led to any bridging of gap between tribals and non-tribals.
A further analysis of the Census data of the tribals living in the eastern districts of Gujarat – right from Valsad in South Gujarat to Banaskantha in North Gujarat – reveal where the problem lies. Thus, the data go to suggest that the predominantly tribal district of Dahod, which is the hub migration to other parts of Gujarat, has the highest percentage of tribal marginal workers – they form 37.5 per cent of the district’s tribal population of 5.01 lakh of age-group 15-34. Further, 16.97 per cent of the district’s tribal population in this age group is found to be seeking job, which again the highest in Gujarat. Next is Narmada district, which interestingly houses one of India’s most ambitious projects, Narmada dam, now on the verge of completion. with the Government of India granting crucial permission to raise its height to 138.64 metres.
Analysis of the Census data of Narmada shows that the district has 27.22 per cent marginal workers and 12.88 per cent of job seekers out of the total tribal population of 1.60 lakh in the age-group 15-34. Despite huge investments running into tens of thousands of crores of rupees, the dam itself has, apparently, failed to provide employment or bring down marginalization of the workforce of the tribal district. Now, the Gujarat government plans to build world’s highest statue off Narmada dam, again within the district, in the memory or Sardar Patel. Plans have also been worked out to convert the area surrounding the dam into a top tourism destination. Meanwhile, tribals of as many as 70 villages of the district have protested against such a move, as they fear their land will be acquired in order to implement the projects.
The Census data also indicate that the situation is not very different with other districts’ predominantly tribal population. Thus, Sabarkantha district has 24.50 per cent of marginal workers and 11.84 per cent of job seekers out of 1.76 lakh tribal population in the age-group 15-34. Tapi district has 20.13 per cent marginal workers and 8.25 per cent job seeking among tribals of the age group. Valsad district has 18.83 per cent marginal workers and 8.25 per cent job seekers among tribals of the age group. And, the Dangs district has 25.25 per cent marginal workers and 9.60 per cent job seekers of its predominantly tribal population.

Comments

TRENDING

Zakir Naik tumult, Catholic Church power abuse: will Anwar Ibrahim save Malaysia?

Anwar Ibrahim By Jay Ihsan*  Anwar Ibrahim, a hardcore reformist who took a punch to his eye in 1998 from then inspector-general of police, Rahim Noor, has finally been given the mandate by Malaysians to serve as the nation's 10th prime minister. Anwar knows too well the burden of staying true to both trust and faith the people have in him requires every once of commitment and dedication. The question is will he be apologetic for his transgressions enroute to "rebuilding" Malaysia? In his overzealousness to get the job done, Anwar, 75, needs to safeguard every bit of gumption to address prickling issues plaguing the safety of the nation especially those involving communal sensitivities. For one, dare Anwar get rid of terrorist hate preacher and fugitive Zakir Naik for inciting religious unrest in Malaysia? In November 2016, India’s counter-terrorism agency filed an official complaint against Naik, holding him responsible for promoting religious hatred and unlawful activi

Although sporting genius, Wasim Akram was mascot of cricket globalisation era

By Harsh Thakor*  Since Independence India and Pakistan produced a galaxy of cricketing stars that permeated cricketing artistry of legendary heights. Amongst this bunch.Wasim Akram manifested pure cricketing genius to the greatest height.I speculate how India’s fortunes would have changed had partition not taken place and Wasim playing for India. Wasim Akram explored realms untranscended in bowling wizardry, like a painter devising new art forms or a scientist experimenting. He simply re-defined the art of reverse swing, reversing the ball in and out. There were bowlers quicker, more accurate and with better records, but none equalled Wasim in an all-round package. He was more lethal with a new and old ball than any fast bowler ever. Wasim could produce balls that were surreal, with his reverse swing, defying laws of bio mechanics He was simply the epitome of versatility, possessing a repertoire of six different deliveries within an over itself, disguising deliveries in the manner of

Alarming US data on child mental health: Wake-up call to end social malaise

By Bharat Dogra  If 1 out of 2 high school girls feel persistently sad or hopeless and one out of six students plan suicide in a year, isn’t it time for a society so affected to look inwards at what has gone wrong, so that at least, and as a first step, the causes of such a dismal state of affairs can be identified correctly? After all, effective remedial action depends first and foremost on a proper identification of causes. This is all the more necessary in a situation when, as this alarming official data for year 2019 for USA tells us, in addition there is an incredibly high rate of increase of these problems. According to the data of the  (the latest such data available at present and also quoted by the USA Surgeon General in the advisory issued by him in 2021), in 2019 37% of all high school students and half of female students reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness. What is more, within a decade (2009-2019), this had recorded a 40% increasing, rising from 26% to

Floods: As ax falls on most vulnerable, Pak seeks debt cancellation, climate justice

By Tanupriya Singh  Even as the floodwaters have receded, the people of Pakistan are still trying to grapple with the death and devastation the floods have left in their wake. The floods that swept across the country between June and September have killed more than 1,700 people, injured more than 12,800, and displaced millions as of November 18. The scale of the destruction in Pakistan was still making itself apparent as the world headed to the United Nations climate conference COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in November.  Pakistan was one of two countries invited to co-chair the summit. It also served as chair of the Group of 77 (G77) and China for 2022, playing a critical role in ensuring that the establishment of a loss and damage fund was finally on the summit’s agenda, after decades of resistance by the Global North. “The dystopia has already come to our doorstep,” Pakistan’s Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman told Reuters. By the first week of September, pleas for h

Implementing misleading govt order to pollute Hyderabad's 100 year old reservoirs

Senior activists* represent to the Telangana Governor on GO Ms 69 dated 12.4.2022 issued by the Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD), Government of Telangana: ‘...restrictions imposed under para 3 of said GO Ms 111 dated 8.3.1996 are removed...’: *** Ref: GO Ms 111 dated 8.3.1996: ‘To prohibit polluting industries, major hotels, residential colonies or other establishments that generate pollution in the catchment of the lakes upto 10kms from full tank level as per list in Annexure-I...’ We come to your office with grievance that GO Ms 69 dated 12.4.2022 issued by Government of Telangana not only contains false information issued ‘By Order and in the name of the Governor of Telangana’ , without any scientific or expert reports, but also that implementation of the said GO is detrimental and can be catastrophic to the Hyderabad city as two 100 year old reservoirs Osman Sagar and Himayath Sagar were constructed as dams on river Moosa and river Esa, with the first and

Qatar World Cup has a strong Bangladesh connection: stadium construction, t-shirts

By Mashrur Siddique Bhuiyan*  The FIFA World Cup fever has unquestionably cut through the minds of mass people all over the world. Stadiums in Qatar are buzzing with football fans and athletes representing their countries at the “Greatest Show on Earth". The magic of the FIFA World Cup is so enormous that even being unable to participate does not matter much to the fans who support different nations. This is one of the highest viewed events in the world, with the 2018 event viewed by about 3.6 billion people worldwide. But this crowd is not aware of the contribution of migrant workers who helped build the very stadiums where the matches are playing in. Qatar won the bid in 2010 to host the FIFA World Cup 2022, which got the oxymoron of celebration and controversy. This also created the potential for Qatar to Showcase its monumental economic achievements and unique culture on the global stage. The motto for Qatar’s bid team in 2010 was ‘Expect Amazing’ and migrant workers across th

Why foreign diplomats must maintain diplomatic etiquette, protocol in Bangladesh

By Kamal Uddin Mazumder*  Foreign governments and organizations are not allowed to dictate how a sovereign country like Bangladesh should run its politics. The 12th national parliamentary elections are drawing near, and the election wind has started to blow in Dhaka. The political parties have already begun to plan their voting strategy through a variety of events. However, this time, the diplomatic community in Dhaka is very active. A number of Western ambassadors frequently meet with government departments, political party representatives, the Election Commission (EC), and members of civil society in Dhaka. At numerous forums, they discuss upcoming elections' management, fairness, and impartiality -- issues that are unquestionably domestic to Bangladesh and in no way fall under the purview of diplomacy. Additionally, it has been noted that diplomats have made public remarks on these subjects in front of the media. It raises the question of how much authority diplomatic protocol h

Bangladesh's ties with Myanmar, Nepal, China need connectivity with India's NE states

By Samara Ashrat*  On 26th November, India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that India is trying to improve trade and connectivity with Bangladesh and Myanmar on his two-day visit to India's Northeast region. He emphasized the importance of linking Northeastern India to the rest of the nation and reiterated Delhi is working to improve connectivity and infrastructure in the region. By taking the G20 presidency India will try to showcase the true spirit of the Northeast to the world, with its tourism benefits. But, the umbilical cord between the Indian mainland and North Eastern Region is Chicken's Neck or Siliguri corridor which brings Bangladesh into the Indian equation of northeastern development. Not only that, Bangladesh has very close relations with West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, and Tripura in terms of language, culture, and history. These factors make Bangladesh an inextricable element of the development of the northeastern states. Tourism Sector and Con

25 years of CHT peace accord: A glorious chapter of conflict resolution in Bangladesh

By Kamal Uddin Mazumder*  Conflicts between the Bangladesh army and Shanti Bahini persisted in the Chittagong Hill Tracts for more than two decades. On December 2, 1997, Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) and the Bangladeshi government signed the CHT Accord, putting an end to the violent armed conflict and improving the life of a lot of the people there. It has been made possible through just seven meetings under the worthy leadership of Sheikh Hasina. The historic peace agreement created an atmosphere of peace in the mountainous region. An atmosphere of peace has been established by ending the armed conflict. The geographical features and ethnic diversity of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) are distinctive. The 13,184 square kilometer territory is bordered by Myanmar and the Indian state of Mizoram on the East and Tripura on the North. With its 1.6 million people, it entails great importance to Bangladesh for its geopolitical location. Due to the conflict-prone Northeast Indi

A classic, 'Gandhi' ignores merciless cruelty unleashed on militant freedom fighters

By Harsh Thakor  The movie ‘Gandhi’ produced by Richard Attenborough, which was released 40 years ago on November 30th, 1982, was classic in it's own right. Ironical that it took an Englishman to embark upon the making of a film on this legendary figure. I can't visualize a better pictorial portrayal of Gandhi's life or an actor getting in the skin of the character an exuding the mannerisms as actor Ben Kingsley. Episodes are crafted and grafted surgically, illustrating how Gandhi wove fragmented bits into a cohesive force, to confront he British empire. Most boldly the movie unfolds how British colonialism subjugated the Indian people to barbaric cruelty. With great mastery the cinematography captures the vast Indian landscapes and essence of livelihood of Indians under colonial rule. The movie most illustratively shows the crystallisation of anti-colonial fervour from the embryonic stage and how it fermented into an integrated movement. In a most subtle manner it illustr