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Moving Beyond Economic Analysis: Assessing The Socio-Cultural Impacts Of Displacement And Resettlement By Sardar Sarovar Project, India

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The  large scale development  projects like dams have been  justified for a greater economic  benefit of the nation. However, the development projects have become synonymous with land acquisition leading to dispossession and forced migration of a large number of people and their involuntary resettlement. Unfortunately, too much focus on the economic benefits of such large scale projects has omitted many relevant tangible and intangible socio-cultural aspects and ignored the impacts of development policies that shape forced migrations. The present paper asserts to move beyond the ‘limited’ economic analysis of large projects and includes the critical social and cultural implications of forced migration and displacement. The  paper presents views of respondents  displaced from the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and were resettled inGujarat. Perhaps, it is the most unique aspect of this paper to understand the socio-cultural adjustment in context of the spatial origin. The resettlement caused by the Sardar Sarovar Project has led to a change in dress patterns and marriage customs, loss of tribal folk art, destroyed the existing social networks and hindered access to new ones. Increased violence against women, problem of drunkenness and bootlegging at the resettlement sites are also highlighted. The insights in the work are based upon the fieldwork in select resettlement sites inGujarat. The author adopted participant observation, focus group discussions and key informant interviews as a means for data collection and better comprehension of the study area.

About the Author

Gaurav Sikka
Lalit Narayan Mithila University

Assistant Professor, University Department of Geography

Darbhanga- 846004, Bihar


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For citation:

Sikka G. Moving Beyond Economic Analysis: Assessing The Socio-Cultural Impacts Of Displacement And Resettlement By Sardar Sarovar Project, India. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2020;13(3):90-101.

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