29 ottobre 2015 Carmela

Development for Whom? The Struggle of Tribals in Modern India

Pagano Didla is a social anthropologist and he is the founder of the NGO “SEEDS” Socio Economic Development Society, that offers assistance to tribal population in Andhra Pradesh. He is now in Europe to sensitize about the conditions of tribals who are increasingly threatened by the promises of development.
Yesterday 28
th October, he spoke at a seminar “Development for Whom? The Struggle of Tribals in Modern India”, organized by University of Florence, together with ARCO LAB .

Thanks to his experience as observer of Indian population in Andrah Pradesh, he describes in detail what it has been happening since 10 years, when the great and ambitious construction of Polavraam dam started. This unfinished project, with an ambiguous utility for population, provoked more than 200000 Tribal forced transfer.

“The actual measures promoted by the Government are eroding the cooperative and egalitarian norms that once characterized tribal communities” said Pagano

Forced to leave their homeland and the land as sustainment, Polavaram Tribal people live new poverty typologies.

“Tribal people are discovering new poverties that were unknown to them”

Pagano focused the attention on this project, not a single case in modern India, that clearly creates new kind of social exclusion. This happens when development is only driven by economic growth and it is not people centred.

“We must be committed to social justice, always.”

The Seminar has seen great participation of economics students and PhDs, and offered the opportunity to request international community and donors to focus their interest on tribal people today. Pagano said in his conclusion:

“Huge displacement of tribals is taking place and international communities and donors don’t act”

Among the speakers: Mario Biggeri, professor of Development Economics at University of Florence and Scientific Director of Arco Lab and Caterina Arciprete, PhD on Indian caste and gender issues and researcher at ARCO Lab.