By
Kanchan Mathur, Shobhita Rajagopal and Radhey Shyam Sharma
Sponsored by Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi

Belief in witches and witchcraft is an extreme form of gender based violence. Women branded/ labeled as witches face prolonged humiliation and often are stigmatized for life. Terms used for woman labeled as witches are Dakan, Dayan, Tohani. Specific Laws to prevent witch-hunting have been passed in several States but implementation is weak. This two year qualitative / participatory study focuses on three states two states where the Anti-Witchcraft Act has been introduced more than a decade ago i.e. Bihar and Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan where labelling women as witches is rampant but where legislation has been introduced recently have been selected for study. A sample of 75 women, 25 in each state will be covered to document narratives and case studies. The effort is to study the differences in forms and manifestations of violence against women labelled as witches and to get an insight into efficacy of laws and intervention strategies. Besides an extensive review of literature the study has entailed wide ranging fieldwork in each of the three states to get an insight into the forms and manifestations of violence meted out on women branded as witches through their narratives. The team is also involved in probing the effectiveness of laws in protecting women labelled as witches and accused of witchcraft. The role of police, courtroom decisions and legal representations, the role of NGOs/civil society organizations, local healers, public health care providers and community leaders will also be being analyzed to highlight the efficacy of laws and arrive at intervention strategies.

By
Mohanakumar S
Sponsored by Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi

This study has been undertaken in the light of the agrarian crisis in India. Initially the study was planned to cover seven important states in India. As the budget for the study was reduced, the coverage of the study was curtailed to include three states, Kerala, Punjab and Rajasthan. The selection of those states was based on the severity of crisis. Kerala was considered to be the highest crisis prone state followed by a moderately infected state (Punjab) and Rajasthan represented the least affected crisis prone state in India. The very objective of the study is to map the characteristics of agrarian crisis in the country. The study is based on a primary survey of 1500 rural cultivator households drawn from nine districts in three states. The primary survey and FGDs have already been completed and analysis is going on.

By
Varinder Jain and Varsha Joshi
Sponsored by Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi

The overall aim of this study is to understand the dynamics of livelihood insecurity in India’s urban informal sector by way of quantifying its incidence and correlates. It is addressed through following sub-objectives: to analyze critically the state approach and the policy framework towards ensuring the livelihood security of the working masses in India’s urban informal sector along with understanding the pitfalls in policy formulation and implementation; to explore the disquieting domains of wage work in terms of work-intensity and occupational health of wageworkers across selected industrial clusters; to examine the incidence and nature of unfairness in the remuneration pattern.

By
Varsha Joshi and Varinder Jain
Sponsored by Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi

Post the Rajinder Sachar Committee report on the social, economic and educational status of the Muslims of India, some affirmative action is being taken by the government. There are many states in India where there is sizeable Muslim population viz., Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam etc. In each state, socio-economic profile of Muslims is different. The focus of the study is to cover both rural and urban areas in order to ascertain factors that contribute to marginalization of Muslims. Therefore, the study focuses on educational and social backwardness, access to jobs, health issues, role and contribution of government schemes, employment and income levels, political participation in terms of voting, contesting elections, and representation in public/ private prestigious positions and decision-making bodies, access to credit facilities, assimilation and mainstreaming of Muslims, discrimination with respect to schooling, health services, social and physical infrastructure and so on. The study also looks at the discrimination of women both in the household domain and outside. The present study is being carried out since 2013 in three states viz., Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.

By
Jai Singh Rathore and Motilal Mahamallik
Sponsored by Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Oslo, Norway

Rajasthan is known for its vast common lands and livestock based economy. With the development of the economy, the agriculture and livestock based economy has taken a back seat, and the manufacturing and service sector have expanded in the state. It is a common trend in India that a large chunk of agricultural land has been converted into non-agricultural use. Further, due to climate change, there is an effect on the cultivable as well as well with the common property land available in the state. Encroachment of ‘common lands’ is a new trend in all parts of the country. This has a significant effect on the livelihood of people with ‘livestock based livelihood’. This study will try to examine the impact of shrinking commons on the livestock and livelihood of people who depends on livestock.

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