Displacement A Social Concern In India Sociology Essay Example
Displacement A Social Concern In India Sociology Essay Example

Displacement A Social Concern In India Sociology Essay Example

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  • Pages: 8 (2121 words)
  • Published: July 31, 2017
  • Type: Case Study
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The millions of displaced people are essentially refugees from an unacknowledged war in India, who may be neither recorded nor remembered, regardless of their multiple displacements. Though not being killed or confined to gas chambers like in the Third Reich, their adaptation quality is dreadfully lower than concentration camps. They redefine the meaning of independence by uprooting them from even their shoddy homes using government equipment and bulldozers. Involuntary and forced resettlement or supplanting has become a global dilemma in industrial projects, with approximately 90 million people worldwide forced to relocate due to the construction of massive dams and industrial projects. In India, the estimate of such displaced persons is around 42 million, though unofficial estimates by scholars reveal a hidden discrepancy between figures. These dispossessed individuals are stripped of their identities and rights, making their plight a matter of serious social concern. Th


e Greater Common Good by Arundhati Roy emphasizes the need for attention and action towards such dislocated individuals.According to the World Bank Review, the number of displaced people was underestimated in 192 assessed undertakings, with approximately 625,000 more displaced than originally estimated. Underestimating displacement figures is a common occurrence (China Report 1999, Scudder T. 1997, McCully, P. 1996), leading to unreliable official statistics. This lack of accurate numbers is ironic and potentially intentional (India Report 1999:4). However, displacement is not just about numbers; it involves issues such as empowerment following rehabilitation, human rights of affected individuals, participation in development decisions, the complexities of relocation goals and strategies, and relevant legal and policy instruments. The industrial development-induced displacement has caused poverty to spiral downwards. The lengthy and painful process of displacement has resulte

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in psychological and socio-cultural trauma on a large scale.The industrial displacement of affected dwellers leads to the dismantlement of production systems, profanation of hereditary sacred zones, Gravess, and temples, dispersing of affinity groups and household systems, disorganization of informal societal webs providing common support, weakening of self-management and societal control, and breakage of trade and market links. These consequences also lead to the loss of complex societal relationships that previously provided avenues for representation, mediation, and struggle declaration. As a result, the cultural identity of displaced communities is subjected to massive attacks that cause significant physiological and psychological stress. The aim of this paper is to identify the challenges that arise from industrial displacement and suggest steps toward equal relocation, rehabilitation, and empowerment after rehabilitation based on past industrial displacement. The recent growth of manufacturing industries in Odisha has resulted in the displacement of native people from their residential and farming lands in the highly populated coastal territories. This has become a critical issue for citizens and the government.The state of Odisha presents a paradox of rich resources and impoverished people due to their lack of access to land and forests. It is important to acknowledge the general poverty and eviction of people from their resources. Providing healthcare facilities, education support, food provisions, and other basic necessities can prevent violence in displaced areas. Relief and rehabilitation measures must be prioritized by the government while considering the opinions and experiences of the displaced individuals, especially women and female-headed families. The displaced public must have access to a proper Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) policy that benefits them. However, current resettlement programs have mainly focused on physical relocation,

neglecting economic and social development, further amplifying poverty risks for resettlers. Conventional project analysis does not consider the risks to adversely affected peoples, according to Cernea (1998).The loss of economic power, due to the displacement of complex support systems and resources, presents significant risks to affected individuals. This includes the loss of cultivable land, common property resources (such as forests, cropland, and water sources), and altered access to productive resources. The result is often a decrease in living standards, both temporarily and permanently, leading to marginalization and uncertainty. Losing diversified support sources further increases these risks. As agricultural activity is disrupted, families can suffer from food insecurity, leading to malnourishment. Additionally, declined water quality can raise incidence of diseases and mortality rates. Relocation resulting from industrial projects usually occurs long after initial presentations and planning, leaving communities in a period of uncertainty and psychosocial anxiety. Multiple displacements from consecutive developments have also occurred, with relocation programs being underestimated and underfunded. Institutional failings further contribute to ineffective relocation efforts due to confusion among different departments and a lack of continuity and capacity.Generally, engagement with affected individuals has been superficial. The lack of policy and legal instruments and effective monitoring mechanisms have led to even well-structured establishments with trained staff failing to consistently execute successful relocations. Indigenous/tribal peoples displaced by large undertakings have experienced negative outcomes in cultural, economic, and wellness aspects. Resettlement sites are selected without consideration of available support opportunities or the preferences of the displaced individuals themselves, with temporary shelters sometimes being unavailable. Support remains a major issue in relocation and rehabilitation policy. Governments and lending agencies are hesitant to adopt policies compensating for

loss of agricultural land with alternate land, despite the limited availability and high value of cultivable land. Most non-land-for-land programs have not successfully promoted self-employment and other non-land-based support schemes, particularly in employment, skills, and capacity building. Forced resettlement often leads to people being transplanted from being primary actors within a social ecology to foreign territories.The text discusses the vulnerability of displaced populations who often become part of a lower class in their new society. These communities are frequently broken apart, causing fractures in social networks and traditional support systems. As a result, there is a rise in psychological pathologies, alcohol addiction, and other detrimental effects. This heightened stress caused by involuntary relocation increases morbidity and immorality. The specific needs of indigenous and tribal peoples have not been adequately addressed, and resettlement sites lack basic necessities such as healthcare, education, and credit. Displacement due to acquisition is typically legally authorized with minimal regulations, and compensation is generally a one-time payment aimed at mitigating losses suffered by negatively affected individuals. (Bartolome et al 1999).Compensation is typically given only to individuals who have undisputed legal titles. However, tenants, sharecroppers, wage laborers, craftsmen, and invaders are often not considered eligible for compensation, despite being the most vulnerable and in need of support. Additionally, community assets such as crops and forests, which are critical for supporting the poorest, are not compensated during the acquisition process. The losses suffered by people affected by infrastructure creation, such as project offices and townships, canals, transmission lines, and other activities are usually not accounted for correctly and therefore remain uncompensated. The limited legal provisions available to challenge the rate of compensation are inaccessible

to negatively affected individuals due to their lack of awareness of legal intricacies or the high costs of court action. Even those who can access courts lose a significant portion of their gains to legal costs. Numerous studies have shown that cash compensation is quickly depleted by negatively affected individuals for old debts payment, extravagant consumption such as drinking spirits.Months or even weeks can lead to the loss of life-long livelihood security and shelter for displaced individuals, leaving them in a state of irreversible destitution. The process of rehabilitation, as suggested by Cernea, involves a series of transitions from landlessness to land-based relocation, joblessness to re-employment, food insecurity to safe nutrition, homelessness to house reconstruction, increased morbidity and mortality to improved health and well-being, and social disarticulation and lack of common property resources to community reconstruction and social inclusion. Rehabilitation can only be possible if it is planned as an integral part of a comprehensive development project, as noted by Jain. Therefore, the success of rehabilitation is linked with development that focuses on enhancing capabilities. A relocation program that aims to qualify as a development must place emphasis on improving human capabilities.

The Resettlement Plan

The relocation of people for development purposes should not only address physical relocation, but also confront social and personal barriers that limit people's choices. This involves addressing questions about resources and rights that affect the well-being of individuals. Resettlement must be viewed as a development project that requires dialogue with affected individuals and an approach that seeks to improve their quality of life beyond pre-project standards. Protecting relocatees is not enough; resettlement must focus on providing new rights, resources

and strategies to enhance their opportunities. The development programme should aim to improve societal chances by planning and implementing resettlement as a long-term project over two generations.According to Bartolome et al. (1999: 13), successful relocation includes a sustainable improvement in the quality of life for most relocatees, particularly those who are poor or marginalized, measured through objective and subjective criteria. This improvement should also involve a cumulative and permanent empowerment of relocatees through effective participation in decision-making about the development project, including its resettlement component, resulting in greater control over their daily affairs.

To achieve this, participatory development and democratic principles should be followed, moving away from forced relocation to a voluntary and mutually negotiated process that recognizes and respects people's rights while minimizing social costs. Rather than being seen as project-affected individuals, people should participate in decision-making as primary actors who contribute to the socioeconomic value of the project by accepting its costs and benefits.

One critical area of concern is the social cost of displacement, which can have visible monetary dimensions.The costs of displacement are not just financial, but also include societal disruptions, emotional turmoil, loss of community ties, and fear. These intangible costs are difficult to quantify but can have a significant impact. Investing in steel may be easier than building schools with qualified teachers and sustainable sources of income for the displaced. While industries can create jobs, common property resources cannot be replaced. People may find alternative ways to make a living, but the loss of their land will always be felt. The future of children from displaced families is especially at risk, with their education and wellbeing on the line. Efforts must

be made to resettle students and rebuild their academic environment. Industries must address the sensitive aspects of these problems such as providing schools and healthcare facilities for the displaced families. However, there may still be concerns about potential social upsets among those who have been displaced.The future of the affected individuals and their children is uncertain and depends on multiple unknown factors. One area of concern is the lack of basic amenities provided by failed industrial development projects that have displaced them. The limited job opportunities in relocation settlements force many to move outside their territory or state. Women, who play significant roles in family, community, and society, have experienced a decline in income and dependence on male family members for expenses that limit their status. The displacement has disrupted the once friendly and intimate relationships within families. Reduced household income has caused conflicts and resentment. Moreover, cash compensation from project authorities is often misused on consumer goods or alcohol, leading to increased addiction and crime rates. Lastly, daughters of ousted women face difficulties in obtaining marriage due to a demand for higher dowries.The use of hard currency compensation in marriages leaves the household impoverished. Another option for farmers is to rent their land instead of selling it, providing regular income in the form of rental rent. Institutional forms can ensure fair deals for both parties, although this solution may not consider the interests of landless individuals. To address this, additional factors such as reskilling and alternative endeavors should be considered for the landless. Providing support for those with skills or reskilling them to pursue possible options is crucial. Ultimately, cash compensation does not offer

a viable solution, but other alternatives should be explored.It is important to ensure that every individual is included in the process of growth. Reskilling and facilitating those who are skilled in agribusiness but limited in opportunities within the engineering industry is a unique opportunity for industrial replacement. To achieve development with a human face, the displaced individuals must be rehabilitated and given their rightful role in the public purpose for which they are being displaced. This requires commitment and imagination. While Odisha prioritizes industrial development, addressing displacement with tact and understanding is necessary for successful industrialization. Full separation of people from their rights, customs, and legal compensation is not permissible in any development project. The state has a fundamental responsibility to ensure successful relocation with development.The process should aim to create new rights for individuals to directly benefit from development projects. Displacement does not always result from infrastructure development and relocation does not necessarily lead to poverty. To achieve positive relocation and rehabilitation, it is important to empower marginalized individuals, especially those who are economically and socially disadvantaged, through the process and outcomes of relocation in conjunction with development.

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