Commenced in January 2007
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Assessment of Indigenous People Living Condition in Coal Mining Region: An Evidence from Dhanbad, India

Authors: Arun Kumar Yadav

Abstract:

Coal contributes a significant role in India’s developmental mission. But, ironically, on the other side it causes large scale population displacement and significant changes in indigenous people’s livelihood mechanism. Dhanbad which is regarded as one of the oldest and large mining area, as well as a “Coal Capital of India”. Here, mining exploration work started nearly a century ago. But with the passage of time, mining brings a lot of changes in the life of local people. In this context, study tries to do comparative situational analysis of the changes in the living condition of dwellers living in mines affected and non-mines affected villages based on livelihood approach. Since, this place has long history of mining so it is very difficult to conduct before and after comparison between mines and non-mines affected areas. Consequently, the present study is based on relative comparison approach to elucidate the actual scenario. By using primary survey data which was collected by the author during the month of September 2014 to March 2015 at Dhanbad, Jharkhand. The data were collected from eight villages, these were categorised broadly into mines and non-mines affected villages. Further at micro level, mines affected villages has been categorised into open cast and underground mines. This categorization will help us to capture the deeper understanding about the issues of mine affected villages group. Total of 400 household were surveyed. Result depicts that in every sphere mining affected villages are more vulnerable. Regarding financial capital, although mine affected villages are engaged in mining work and get higher mean income. But in contrast, non-mine affected villages are more occupationally diversified. They have an opportunity to earn money from diversified extents like agricultural land, working in mining area, selling coal informally as well as receiving remittances. Non-mines affected villages are in better physical capital which comprises of basic infrastructure to support livelihood. They have an access to secured shelter, adequate water supply & sanitation, and affordable information and transport. Mining affected villages are more prone to health risks. Regarding social capital, it shows that in comparison to last five years, law and order has been improved in mine affected villages.

Keywords: Mining, Indigenous, Displacement, livelihood

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