Accepted paper:

Development and its impact on the fishermen of Assam (a case study of the Kaibartas)


Chandana Sarma (Cotton College)

Paper short abstract:

The Kaibartas are a fishing community of Assam, India belonging to the Scheduled Castes. The paper intends to find out the role of developmental programmes on these (fishing) people.

Paper long abstract:

The primary objective of the present paper is to find out the impact of development plans on the beneficiaries, the Kaibartas---a Scheduled Caste fisherman community of Assam. Data for the present study were collected through fieldwork inhabiting three villages in Kamrup District in Assam. In recent years, there have been significant changes in their socio-economic life. The Kaibartas of Barpith and Boripara, the two peri-urban villages, nowadays accept intercaste marriages. With the rise in the level of education, there has been a gradual decline in the number of fishing population. The educated Kaibartas are leaving their traditional calling of fishing in preference to non-fishing jobs. It is felt that the Kaibartas of the study villages at present require some improvement of their traditional occupation and education. The paper intends to throw light on the fact that the intended benefits under various developmental programmes have not by and large reached the poorest of the rural poor. Moreover, the Kaibartas should be provided facilities to undergo training in fishery training centres so that they can improve their skills of fishing. They should be made conscious of the fact that not only experience but also education is necessary to make one a good fisherman.

panel P102
Development, disadvantaged people and human security: the emerging problems and contribution of anthropology in resolving the challenges (Commission on Human Rights)