A constituent institute of the University of Allahabad

Ongoing Projects

 

 

2016-17

 

Understanding the most marginalized among Scheduled castes: A study of Bundelkhand region (Coordinator: Archana Singh) 

This proposed project aims to study the socio-political invisibility of most marginal communities of Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh.  The scheduled castes like Kori, Chamar, Dhobi and Pasi and a few other castes have succeeded in developing and moving ahead politically, socially and economically because of their large number. On the other hand there are some scheduled castes/ nomads/semi-nomads that are invisible in the socio-political milieu due to their very less number, absence of political voice, absence of organic intellectuals and community leaders and lack of education. These castes are referred to as the most marginal communities. Some of these most marginal communities are Bhangi, Basor, Bhantu, Bhuiya, Boria, Dhangar, Dhanuk, Kalabaz, Kanjar, Khairha, Kanjar, Kuchbadhiya, Dharkar, Nat, Baheliya etc.  In the absence of community leaders and organic intellectuals, they are unable to assert their voice in the socio-political arena which makes them invisible in the state machinery.  They are unable to assert their identity or claim their share in the state-led democracy. 
These communities which are invisible need proper attention and support from the government, policy makers and development agencies to attain a dignified place in the community and society at large. There is a need to identify the factors which lead to the invisibility, deprivation and exclusion of these communities and suggest appropriate measures for providing them visibility and democratic space in the society.  

Culture of Democracy: An Ethnographic Study of Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections, 2017 (Coordinators: Badri Narayan Tiwari and Archana Singh)  

This project is based on ethnographic study of the Uttar Pradesh assembly election, 2017. The aim of the project is to understand the participation, aspiration and assertion of marginals (dalits and women) in the electoral politics of India through this assembly election of UP. This study will also help in understanding the assertive content in the politics of Dalit communities which developed with the rise of BSP. It will also help to document the functioning of caste politics that has been accelerated by all political parties and their methods to influence the rural psyche. This study will generate new insights to comprehend various forms of assertion, adjustments and negotiations of the marginal communities in the electoral democracy. 

Schooling  among the Pahari  Korwa Tribe (Coordinator: G.C. Rath) 

The Pahari Korwa is an ex-primitive tribe, lives in 7 Blocks of Surguja district of Chhattisgarh with around 9070 populations. This small community has 23 percent (2047 in number) of literacy only. The absolute status of education is abysmally low. To grasp the existing reality we have made a door to door survey in 32 hamlets living by 909 of their families in 4 Blocks of the district during last March-April, 2017. It is found out that there are 126 students in 6-8 classes,  33 students in 9-12 classes, 3 students in graduate and only one student is in M Sc out of 163 students in total. It shows the presence of an abnormal status of education among this community. The past records of these families also points out that their children have passed 5th class remaining in the government run ashram (residential) schools. After fifth class, many of them either dropped or became failed in the Board Examination held in the tenth class. This failure has many roots. To make a difference, we have initiated a five year intervention programme, which is primarily coordination in nature. 

 

Monitoring & Evaluation of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan in 21 Districts of Uttar Pradesh (2013-15)
(S. K. Pant)

The whole exercise of monitoring and evaluation has been carried out on the basis of terms of reference (TOR) prepared by Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India and covers a total number of 40 schools available in each of the district. Adequate care has been taken to include every type of school in the sample even if their presentation was quite small. The study covers 21 districts of Uttar Pradesh namely Kanpur Nagar, Aligarh, Jalaun, Banda, Mainpuri, Kannauj, Chitrakoot, Auraiya, Agra, Etah, Kanpur Dehat (Ramabai Nagar), Hamirpur, Lalitpur, Farrukhabad, Kanshiramnagar, Mahoba, Jhansi, Hathras, Mathura, Etawah and Firozabad respectively.

The study conducted with the objectives of (i) assessment and analysis of the implementation of the approved interventions and processes underlying these interventions at the habitation and school level keeping in view the overarching goals of these schemes and the provisions under RTE Act, 2009 and (ii) identification of the social, cultural, linguistic or other barriers coming in the way of successful implementation of the schematic interventions and attainment of these goals.

The study comprehensively establishes that SSA has succeeded in enhancing the state of physical infrastructure, enrolment level of students etc. since its inception in 2001. However in many areas a like soliciting support through parent-teacher association, training of teachers, providing basic facilities like playground, games kit, toilet etc., not much has been achieved. The study also shows that in quite a large proportion of schools, the teachers were not using teaching and learning materials which was aimed of enhancing the quality of teaching. Similarly, these schools also suffered from weak supervision and other support services.

Likewise, in case of Mid Day Meal (MDM), though in sizeable proportion of schools, it was being implemented however in some smaller proportion of schools, it was still not being provided which was in contravention of the SSA guidelines.   

Monitoring & Evaluation of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan in 10 Districts of Jammu Provision (2013-15)
(S. K. Pant)

The whole exercise of monitoring and evaluation has been carried out on the basis of terms of reference (TOR) prepared by Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India and covers a total number of 40 schools available in each of the district. Adequate care has been taken to include every type of school in the sample even if their presentation was quite small. The study covers 10 districts of Jammu provision namely Jammu, Kathua, Rajauri, Samba, Reasi, Poonch, Udhampur, Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban respectively.

The study conducted with the objectives of (i) assessment and analysis of the implementation of the approved interventions and processes underlying these interventions at the habitation and school level keeping in view the overarching goals of these schemes and the provisions under RTE Act, 2009 and (ii) identification of the social, cultural, linguistic or other barriers coming in the way of successful implementation of the schematic interventions and attainment of these goals.

The study comprehensively establishes that SSA has succeeded in enhancing the state of physical infrastructure, enrolment level of students etc. since its inception in 2001. However in many areas a like soliciting support through parent-teacher association, training of teachers, providing basic facilities like playground, games kit, toilet etc., not much has been achieved. The study also shows that in quite a large proportion of schools, the School Management Committee (SMC) was not functional as per the RTE Act, 2009.

Similarly, these schools also suffered from weak supervision and other support services.

Likewise, in case of Mid Day Meal (MDM), though in sizeable proportion of schools, it was being implemented however in some smaller proportion of schools, it was still not being provided which was in contravention of the SSA guidelines.   

 

Monitoring & Evaluation of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) in 18 Districts of Uttar Pradesh (2013-15)
(S. K. Pant)

 

The whole exercise of monitoring and evaluation has been carried out on the basis of terms of reference (TOR) prepared by Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India and covers a total number of 40 schools (maximum) available in each of the district. Adequate care has been taken to include every type of school in the sample even if their presentation was quite small. The study covers 18 districts of Uttar Pradesh namely Azamgarh, Bhadohi, Chandauli, Deoria, Fatehpur, Ghazipur, Jaunpur, Kushinagar, Mau, Mirzapur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Maharajganj, Shrawasti, Siddharth Nagar, Sonebhadra, Sultanpur, Varanasi and Unnao respectively.

 

The study conducted with the objectives of (i) assessment and analysis of the implementation of the approved interventions and processes underlying these interventions at the habitation and school level keeping in view the objective to enhance access to secondary education and to improve quality while ensuring equity through various interventions under RMSA, (ii) verify process and procedures undertaken under RMSA and (iii) identification of the physical, socio-economic,, cultural, linguistic or other barriers such as governance accountability and administrative issues coming in the way of successful implementation of the schematic interventions and attainment of these goals.

 

‘Migration and Cultural Traditions of Bhojpuri Region: A Research and documentation project’ funded by The Sir Jamsetji Tata Trust (SJTT), Mumbai on 15.08.2013 for a period of three years.
(Badri Narayan)

 

The project studies and documents the cultural heritage of Bhojpuri speaking migrant labourers who left their native village sin Bihar and UP to work in different industrial and big cities like Surat, Delhi and Mumbai while leaving behind their cultural heritage and family members. While it is their economic need , which drives them out from their native lands, it is their culture that helps them to emotionally connect with their homeland. After a hard day’s grueling labour, when they get together in their slums and ghettoes and sing songs together, they are able to mitigate some of the pain at separating from their native villages and loved ones. For the people who are left behind in the homeland too, like the wives, children, parents and siblings, this cultural repertoire provides solace and helps them to surmount the pain and anguish at the going away of their loved ones. It also lends insight into the continuity and change that takes place in the two cultures of homeland and destination due to migration. This project aims to transcend the mere documentation of songs or memories but rather swathes a wide area that includes forging connectivity between the migrants and their homelands using culture as the medium, bringing the unknown poets and story tellers into the mainstream, supporting higher studies in culture and migration studies, and sensitizing the general public about the rich cultural repertoire of the Bhojpuri migrants by setting up exhibitions and archives, launching a website, publishing books, resource books and so on. The project will identify the ‘tangible heritage’ and will link it with ‘intangible heritage’.

 

‘Recovering Lost Histories: Nara Maveshi Movement among Dalits in Uttar Pradesh’ funded by the Indian Council of Historical Research on 15.1.2013 for a period of two years.
 (Badri Narayan)

 

This project proposes to study and analyze the various aspects of the Nara Maveshi Movement (NMM) an uprising by the Chamars ¼shoemaker caste½ around the fifties to shed their caste based profession. It will trace and document the history of the NMM, in UP, ranging from the minor incidents of 1950 to the various sporadic incidents at different places between 1955 and 1985. Furthermore field studies would be undertaken and in the oral tradition, following the baat se baat techniques detailed interviews would be conducted with the NMM activists, exploring the collective dalit memory. This study shall be based on primarily the field survey of five villages namely Shahabpur, Bihra, Katka, Babusarai and Jugrajpur located in Allahabad and Bhadohi districts in east UP.

 

NMM was one of the precipitating factors of the dalit politics that emerged in the decade of the sixties. In fact the activists of the NMM later formed the foot-soldiers of the Bhaujan Samaj Party (BSP) and were instrumental in its emergence as a viable political force. The research would document the politicisation of dalits in the rural society during the process of such grassroots level social movement by establishing links between NMM and Dalit politics.

 

Sustainability, Livelihood and Freedom: The Development Challenges in the Stone-quarry sector in Uttar Pradesh.
(Sunit Singh)

 

The study is an attempt to address three basic issues which the mining sector in general and the stone quarry sector in particular is confronting at present in our country. Sustainability, livelihood and freedom are the triple development challenges that need to be addressed simultaneously at policy as well as practice level in the mining and quarrying sector. Rampant environmental degradation, prevalence of debt-bondage and absence of community based collective action for livelihood security are posing serious threats to the entire development process.  Consequent to the apex court orders the central and the state governments are struggling to regulate the mining and stone quarrying sector. However, the ongoing efforts are far from the comprehensive approach towards sustainability. The goal of environmental sustainability is strongly being challenged by the champions of labor rights.

 

The workers are not getting statutory minimum wages, devoid of social security benefits, surviving without safe shelter, their children not attending schools, little access to public health system and to formal banking systems. At present the workers on quarry sites are at the mercy of the contractors unable to access the human, legal or labor rights. They cannot be termed as the ‘citizens’ of India. These chronically impoverished and bonded quarry workers are seen as the victims as well as agents of environmental degradation. Unfortunately, the issues relating to the development of human and social capital have attracted less importance in the sustainability discourse in quarrying sector.

 

The study seeks to suggest a community-based participatory model to achieve sustainability equilibrium by balancing environmental sustainability with inclusiveness and freedom of laborers trapped under bondage conditions for generations. Further, it attempts to suggest a roadmap to move forward in the direction of sustainability with humane face.

 

The Freedom Plans: Collective Resistance to Situations of Un-freedom at Local Level
(Sunit Singh)

 

Moving forward along the freedom plans prepared by the SHGs of bonded laborers by themselves has been a unique initiative in the field of development planning and action research. It is based on community driven participatory approach. It is a multi dimensional and a long term outcome based process oriented initiative. It is an attempt to consolidate the multiple coping strategies to address the debt-bondage issue by the extremely poor and hunger prone families. These plans represent a paradigm shift in the risk management planning at local level. It provides insights to bridge the existing gaps in the food security system through a convergence approach. These plans are rolling plans based on progressive learning. These plans do not have any predictable or measurable indicators for assessing their progress instead they move forward through continuous participatory mapping and assessment of outcomes. It is quite close to the post-modernist perspectives of development planning (Maxwell 1995) and therefore provides new insights to the freedom and security debate in particular.

The Freedom Plans have five components.

 

(i)        the identification of multiple forms of existing vulnerabilities being faced by the marginalized stakeholders at the grassroots level, their interdependent and mutually reinforcing nature, and their role in creating chronic conditions of extreme poverty, hunger and debt-bondage. The identification is done collectively by the group members by themselves.

(ii)       the identification of the challenges that are responsible for the existing vulnerabilities. These challenges include all dimensions of livelihood security, a prerequisite for sustainable food security. While preparing the plans the participants acknowledge the importance of challenges being faced by all the members of the household. This helped making the plan comprehensive with due care to gender issues and the needs of young children and old age persons as well.

(iii)      the specific activities that had to be carried out by the members of the SHGs, individually and collectively. These activities are aimed with certain outcomes that will help reducing the vulnerabilities and bringing the household out of bondage situations by ensuring food security.

(iv)      the role of other stakeholders, termed as boundary actors. It focuses on actions that could bring intended changes in the behavior of those actors influencing the institutional environment directly or indirectly. The institutional environment has been classified into three levels – immediate, intermediate and distant. The boundary actors were identified at all three levels.

 

Lastly, the plan includes a last component to track the progress through continuous monitoring of outcomes in the direction of their empowerment. With the help of these tracking tools the SHG members themselves assess their progress towards freedom, livelihood and sustainability.

 

Other Backward Classes in Uttar Pradesh: Politics and Culture
(Satendra Kumar)

 

The struggle for Recognition and Redistribution of Dalits; A proposal for Documenting and Researching Madigas' Culture, Identity and Struggle in Andhra Pradesh
(Chandraiah Gopani)

 

The main aim of the project is to explore the culture, identity formation and struggle of Madigas' for SC (Schedule Caste) categorization and due share in opportunities and resources. Further it will trace out and analyze the historical root of Dandora or MRPS (Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi) struggle and its implications on Dalit movement and politics.