Survival strategies of the Lodha through the forest: An empirical study of South Bengal
AbstractIn this article, an attempt has been made to find out the relation between forest and Tribal. In India, nearly 10.4 milion tribes which are constitute 8.6% of its total population. The study was conducted among the Lodha community at forest villages in Paschim medinipur Districts, West Bengal. The Lodhas, who were designated as a ‘Criminal Tribe’ by the British administration and later this classification underwent in the postcolonial period. This marginalized community was later put under the category of ‘De-notified Community’, and then reclassified as a “Primitive Tribal Group” (PTG). Now it is re-designated as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG). The study revealed that they are surviving themselves by the SHG, Forest Produce Collection, hunting, rope making, domestic animal and poultry bird rearing. But they are survived themselves through forest produce collection and day labourer. Forest is the main economic resources of Lodhas to continue their livelihood strategy. They are collected various items from forest like fruit, medicinal root, Chihar Lata, leaf, wood, animal, herbal/medicinal plants. A strong relation has been found among the Lodhas & forest. “When Tribal has not found any job as day labour at that time they went to forest. During lean period the Lodhas prepared various handicraft products with the help of forest produce. They are also selling the various medicinal roots, leaf, skin to the village medicine man and mahajon. So forest is the economic asset of Tribal.
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