Sustainable Path and Social Justice:Case Study of Dange Dhangars and Katkaris in Southern Maharashtra and Northern Karnataka, India.
- We can broadly classify the habitats of the tribal and semi-nomadic communities of the region into :
1)Thick forest habitats 2)Hilly and mountainous habitats and 3) Plains and Semi-arid rural habitats.By taking such a cultural- ecological perspective we can view Indian society as an Integrated one analogous to a biological community made of a number of socio-cultural groups.
Dange Dhanagars and Katkaris are two such indigenous communities discussed in this paper to illustrate the importance of taking a sustainable integrated path to ensure that growth with protection of natural resources ensures social justice to such communities.
Katkaris once a simple hunting and agricultural tribe who have been displaced from their forest base in Maharashtra and neigbouring states have settled in the interiors of forest in Karnataka.Their economic condition now is poor and they work as labourers.
The Dange Dhanagars a sub-territorial group inhabiting the forests of Western ghats of Radhanagari, Kolhapur district are in conflict with the INDAL aluminium project. There are positive and negative aspects of the effects of agricultural development and infra- structural development of roads, health and electricity.
This paper with the help of these two communities illustrates that the path of sustainable development will ensure the allround socio-economic development of indigenous communities and protection of natural resources and hence brings social justice to them .
*Dr. J.B. Ambekar, Former Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Shivaji University, Kolhapur 416004, Maharashtra, and N.J.Ambekar, Market Analyst, Nielsen, MNC, Vikhroli, Mumbai, Maharashtra, INDIA.