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Demonetisation and Social Change

(Vol. 15, No. 2, April-June, 2017) ISSN 0973 – 8444
Demonetisation and Tribal Livelihood: Some Ground Level Realities from Birbhum District of West Bengal
Anindita Gupta1 & Sujit Kumar Paul2
1Research Scholar, Department of Lifelong Learning and Extension Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Visva-Bharati (A Central University), Sriniketan - 731236, Birbhum, West Bengal.
2 Associate Professor & Head, Department of Lifelong Learning and Extension Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Visva-Bharati (A Central University),Sriniketan - 731236, Birbhum, West Bengal, Ph. - 9475671581, Email - skpaulrd@gmail.com
 
Abstract: Demonetisation of the 500 rupees and 1000 rupees denomination currency notes as a legal tender is a welcome step in order to make India corruption free, curb black money, control escalating price rise, stop fund flows to illegal activities and make a cashless society in the line of digital India. However, the rural people especially these tribal communities who are not “financially included” and live in far-flung areas with inadequate banking outreach facilities are said to be at serious disadvantages due to this step. Tribals who earn their living mainly by selling minor forest produces had to struggle to make ends meet with a lack of access to digital methods of payment and to restriction on cash withdrawal. The present paper tries to highlight the impact of demonetisation on tribal livelihood i.e. the positive and negative experiences that the tribal communities faced and are still facing owing to such a measure of the government. The study is carried out among the tribal population in Birbhum district of West Bengal. Primary data were collected through observation and interview techniques; focused group discussions and case studies were also conducted with the respondents for the collection of data. Data was also collected through secondary sources. Narrative and descriptive reporting are mainly done for data presentation. The study concludes that overall the tribal population has been facing hazards and obstacles in the grounds of their livelihood owing to the advent of demonetisation. The responses give a mixed picture of their opinions regarding the present discussed phenomena.
 
Keywords: Demonetisation, Tribal Livelihood, Santhals, Tribal Economy, Birbhum District of West Bengal.
 
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