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Sathyamangalam Dilemma: Tribal Relocation Plan for Tiger Reserve Expansion and the Associated Psychosocial Problems

Author Affiliations

  • 1Dept. of Psychology, Jain University, Bangalore, India

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 6, Issue (12), Pages 1-4, December,14 (2017)

Abstract

Sathyamangalam is home to at least twenty five Tigers and it has been declared as the fourth Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu. It is the plan of the government to relocate the tribal communities living in the declared zone to new locations outside the forest area. The tribal communities are confused and perplexed about the relocation plan. This multidisciplinary study focused on the psychosocial issues among the tribal people and explored the various problems on the process of change of domicile. The study utilizing grounded theory collected data from three different sources. They are: i. key informants, that is, the tribal people in the Tiger reserve who are asked to leave, ii. secondary informants, namely NGOs and other people who work for the tribal communities and the forest officials who are involved in relocation plan, iii. the general population from the surrounding villages of relocation. The study results show that the tribal communities are completely dependent on the forest resources for their livelihood, for their subsistence cultivation and their daily living resources. This dependency leads them to various emotional as well as psychosocial issues when they think of relocation. Some NGO’s and voluntary groups who work for the welfare of tribal people identify so many violations on the basic forest laws in the relocation proposal and process. Above all, there are no awareness given, preparations done among tribal communities regarding the relocation plan, process and new life situation.

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