Livelihood sustainability through indigenous knowledge

Livelihood sustainability through indigenous knowledge A case study of a Sauriya Pahariya village

Rudrajit Sarkar

In the context of globalization, there are lot of folk communities in India, still sustaining their livelihood by utilizing natural resources on sustainable basis. The means of their survival is not the goods and services produced by the ‘civilised’ counterparts but the knowledge they have gathered orally from their forefathers. Most development programmes ignored the importance of that eco-literate people in framing sustainable livelihood policies, and hence resulted into non-sustainable outcome. Therefore, indigenous people holding indigenous, local or traditional resource based knowledge are now being put immense importance. In this background this research has been carried out in a remote Sauriya Pahariya village of Pakur district of Jharkhand as a case study to understand the contextual reality of existing pattern of livelihood sustainability. Indigenous knowledge is an accumulated experience, wisdom, and know-how which is unique to a culture, society or community that provides valuable insight to sustainable farming process. This knowledge are responsible for sustainable livelihood of a hill tribe has been documented with various tools. Most of the economic gains are from village resources and transactions are made in locality. Besides they have special knowledge inherited from past to identify, manage and conserve resources of village and surrounding environment. Similarly there are some customary laws as well as human resource use pattern to govern social equity. Sauriya Pahariya people has a traditional food and medicine system which ensure their nutritional and health security. Their material culture is fully depended upon locally available materials. This dissertation also highlights the factors influencing knowledge distribution and the evidence of changes in the community due to the infiltration of external agencies.

Keywords: Livelihood sustainability, indigenous knowledge, indigenous people, Sauriya Pahariya, sustainable development.