WOMEN HAVE BEEN
BY MVM PALKOT
Palkot is one of the twelve administrative blocks of Gumla District in the state of Jharkhand with a population of 70645 (2011 Census), It is located 25 km towards South from District headquarters Gumla. It is a block headquarter. Palkot is surrounded by Basia block towards East, Kolebira block towards South, Raidih block towards West and Gumla block towards North. Gumla, Simdega, Jashpurnagar, Birmitrapur are the nearby cities to Palkot.
Maximum tribes were brought by British to Assam tea gardens 150 years ago. In primitive times they used to wander and hunter around the forest. Later they became agriculture cultivators. The main livelihood is rain-fed agriculture especially paddy. Other than this dependency on forest product can be observed across the tribes. The average land holding of oraon, munda, kharia tribal households are 1 Ha and the average land holding of kharia, chikbaraik are 0.5 Ha. The main livelihood of lohra is stone cutting and they are landless except homestead land. Maximum Christian conversion happened with munda and oraon community. Though pre-Christian traditional cultures are still preserved up to a level many Christian influences have been absorbed by them. Other than Christian influence, Hindu influence also can be observed in these tribes. 'Lotapani' (traditional welcoming system), a celebration of birth, death, engagement, and marriage, etc are the common rituals. Chikbaraik, lohra community has preserved their tradition more than oraon and munda.
The main economy of the block depends upon agriculture, forest produce, and cattle Products, mining activities and other commercial activities. Agriculture is mainly dependent on rains. The farmers mainly produce and sell paddy, Vegetables, pulses, and forest-based products. Besides, some other necessary goods Such as clothes and grocery items are imported from different places. Market facilities in all villages of the district are very limited, especially with respect to agricultural marketing such as fertilizers seeds, pesticides, and other general goods and Services. The major vegetable products and horticulture products are marketed to nearby markets like Raurkela, Simdega, Ranchi, Bedo, Gaya, Jashpur, Ambikapur by breaking the market hegemony by the joint intervention of PRADAN & CBO (Block Level Federations). Institutions like cooperatives and contract farming are considered to be an important means to achieve this. In spot markets, goods are exchanged between buyers and sellers in the current time period. Producers are free to produce any commodity and sell as much quantity to any number of buyers depending on the market price.
Socio-economic status of this area
Palkot at a Glance
Outreach 13,257 households in 73 Villages
Self Help Groups 934
Village Organisation 69
Credit Disbursed through Bank 5.4 Cr
Community Investment Fund 3.49 Cr
Revolving Fund to SHG 1.22 Cr
In the area, there is a trend to migrate mainly outside Jharkhand. A big number of people got migrated in earlier days for service in army and brick making work. In case of relatively well-off families male-youth got migrated maximum for enjoying city life, more cash income, and better facilities. Sometimes they also migrate for searching/ doing jobs. In maximum cases, they returned to home after marriage. There is a big no of distress migration happens still today. It can be observed more in non-intervention areas where the annual income is too low and the food is not secured for around the year. This distress migration only can be reduced by enhancing family income and providing better facilities to the village. So the livelihood intervention, as well as the other well-being interventions, is equally important to address the issue of migration. Other than these, linking youth with different skill building institution can convert distress migration into a choice migration.