Accepted paper:

Socio-economic condition and human right issues of the Chain: a depressed community of West Bengal, India


Bijoy Kumar Sarkar (University of North Bengal)

Paper short abstract:

Human rights and development are not separate challenges as deemed but are inexorably linked. This paper seeks to highlight the socioeconomic condition of the Chain, a depressed community of east India with special reference to their plights and explore the factors from a human rights perspective.

Paper long abstract:

In recent years, human rights and development have been converging in respect of the depressed people in the world. This may also apply to the Chain, an indigenous and depressed community of eastern India, who speak their own language. The Chain is a little-known community in West Bengal. Surprisingly, they have received almost no attention from the social scientists and the social activists, though their over-all conditions have increasingly deteriorated, causing a sense of helplessness and resentment in them. Being a traditional farming community in the riverside area and averse to trade and business, the Chains are now divested of material resources. They face discrimination, poverty, poor health, unemployment, unsafe drinking water, open defecation, illiteracy, early marriage, domestic violence, inferiority complex, etc. No provision for education in their own language has added to their lagging behind in education, simultaneously endangering their language and culture too. This paper attempts to highlight socioeconomic conditions of the Chain with special reference to their plights, find out the factors responsible and draw the attention of the social scientists, community organizations and the administration. It analyzes this issue from a human rights perspective.This paper has been prepared on the data collected from field work, secondary literature, documented data and experience gathered as a member of the community and built up on corroboration and cross-checking of these materials in consultation with knowledgeable and scholarly people.

panel P098
Human rights and development: challenges and opportunities (Commission on Human Rights)