Education and Employment: A Change Agent for Andh Community

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1 Education and Employment: A Change Agent for Andh Community SHEIKH NAZIR JABBAR Manavloks College of Social Sciences, Ring Road Ambajogai District Beed , Maharashtra KEY WORDS: Education. Migration. Employment. Social change. Andh community. ABSTRACT: The present study was conducted in Hingoli district of Marathwada region. The study focuses on the socio-economic and educational conditions of Andh community. The education and employment among the Andh community have caused visible changes in the socio-economic aspects of their life. This has happened only among the families where at least one member of the family is in government service or having a job. However, the conditions of agriculture labourers and farmers are still the worst and there is not much change visible in such families. The jobless people have to migrate in search of employment elsewhere. An attempt has been made to find out the impact of jobs on the families of Andh community. INTRODUCTION The Scheduled Tribes are the most deprived and marginalized section of the Indian society. For the socio-economic development of scheduled tribes, the State and Central governments have initiated welfare and developmental programmes by establishing independent departments for tribal development. The provisions have also been made in the five year plans for the development of the scheduled tribes. In the Fifth Five Year plans, a Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) strategy came into existence. The objective of the TSP is to assist the tribal families in improving their socio-economic and educational status. The main objective of the Ninth Plan was to bridge the gap between Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes with the rest of the population. The Tenth Plan focused on educational, economic and social advancement of SCs and STs. The main aim is to improve the standard of living, reducing the incidence of poverty and improving employment and income generating opportunities of poor families, Assistant Professor (Senior scale) educated youths and increasing their entrepreneurial capacity. Levels of education have a pivotal role in socioeconomic development and the relative employment opportunities. The national policy on education in 1986 emphasized on the opening of primary school in tribal areas and promising ST youths to encourage taking up of teaching in tribal areas. It also specified to establish Ashramshala / residential school on a large scale in tribal area. The 86 th Amendment to the Constitution of India (2000) deals with free and compulsory primary education to all children between age of 6 to 14 years. In India there are 428 tribal communities spread over in different States. The States with tribal population have established independent machineries for their development. The State and Central government are striving for bringing these communities into the main stream of development by introducing various schemes and plans. ANDH COMMUNITY In Maharashtra, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Act of 1976 South Asian Anthropologist, 2011, 11(2): New Series SERIALS 129

2 130 Sheikh Nazir Jabbar have identified 47 scheduled tribes which constitute 8.83 per cent to the State population (Census of India, 2001). These tribes are scattered all over the State, however the density of the ST population are found only in 17 districts of the State. Andh is one of them which is classified as a Scheduled Tribe in Maharashtra. Andh, a community in Maharashtra, is distributed in the Nanded, Parbhani (Hingoli) and Yeotmal districts, (Russell and Hiralal,16) and they had migrated to Maharashtra from Andhra Pradesh. The Andh community is known as educationally progressive community among the scheduled tribes of Maharashtra. In the last 50 years, this community has made much progress in education; the literacy rate amongst Andh community is higher than other scheduled tribe communities. (Gare, 2000). Settled agriculture is their important occupation which they supplement by hunting, food gathering and animal husbandry (Singh, 97). The bench mark survey of Andh community has highlighted economic activities of the Andh community as : per cent are cultivator, while per cent are agriculture labourer, and only 3.29 per cent are on government services. Out of these families per cent are BPL (Below Poverty Line). 32 per cent Andh community members are migrating with families elsewhere for earning money. As far as agricultural land is concerned 43 per cent are landless, while 57 per cent are landholders (Maharashtra State Statistics, ). Most of the land holders are either small farmer or marginal farmers. Hingoli is one of the districts in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra State having higher number of ST population (Government of Maharashtra, /pdf/ TSP/Districtwise Tribal Population, 2001). As per Census of India, 2001, Hingoli district constitutes 8.80 per cent of the ST population. In this district, Aundha (Nagnath) block has large number of Andh community people in comparison to the other blocks of the district. Mostly Andh in this block use to migrate in search of the employment in off-season of the agriculture. A few families now migrate for annual contractual works in surrounding areas. The landholders also have to work on daily wages and depend on private money lenders for cultivating and purchasing seeds and fertilizers for agricultural purposes. Fewer sources of employment, less productivity in agriculture, debt of private money lender, have worsened the economic conditions of the Andh community. Recently, candidates from Andh community have succeeded in getting jobs, and day by day number of job holders is increasing among them. Whether this job has a contributory role in transforming the socio-economic conditions of ST community? What are the motivating factors for increasing the strength of job holders? And what are the implications of occupational change on the community are worth enquiring. The present study intends to focus on these aspects. STUDY AREA AND METHODOLOGY For the purpose of the present study Aundha (Nagnath) block of Hingoli district was selected. And within the block, village Bhosi was taken up for using the purposive sampling based on the familiarity and the rapport available with the key informants and villagers. Primary and secondary sources of data collection were also used. In primary discussions with the villagers, Gram Panchayat members and family members of job holders was conducted. Besides this participatory observation method was also used to collect the qualitative information. For secondary sources, the update record maintained by the Anganwadi teacher was used and mostly the review of literature was accessed from internet. Sample: For quantitative data collection, census method was employed. From the village all 25 salaried families were selected. Structured households scheduled were administered to the sample households. The household schedule comprised of information such as: (1) prior to service socioeconomic conditions of the households; (2) changes after service in socio-economic conditions and so on. VILLAGE PROFILE The village Bhosi is 18 km away from Hingoli (district headquarters) and 32 km from Aundha (Nagnath) (block). The village is located on a hill surrounded by valley. Population: As per Census of India 2001, the village had 365 households. Andh is the largest ST community in the village, which constitutes per cent population of the village. Schedule Castes constitutes 7.99 per cent, while the remaining (Others) are Muslims and Sikhs, which constitute per

3 Education and Employment: A Change Agent for Andh Community 131 cent, while Kalal (OBC) are per cent (Primary data from Gram Panchayat). Below Poverty Line Families: In the village per cent families are in below poverty line (BPL), out of that per cent are scheduled tribes and per cent belong to open categories. While total literacy rate in the village population is per cent. TABLE 1 Communities and population of the village Bhosi Sr No. Communities/Categories Population Percentage 1 Schedule Tribe Scheduled Caste Other Backward Classes (OBC)/Kalal 4 Others Total Source: Primary data recorded from Gram Panchayat, Economic activities: The village has less fertile land, and they have to depend on monsoon rain which is only suitable for kharif season. The village economy is based largely on agriculture. There are 780 main workers in the village out of which per cent are cultivators, per cent are agriculture laborers, and remaining are engaged in other occupations (Census of India, 2001). Most of the cultivators, agriculture labourers and daily wage labourers are from the Andh community. Few persons of Kalal community are also engaged in agriculture, and remaining members of this community are engaged in business and other occupations, and selling of liquors. Muslims are engaged mostly in cultivating land, and some among them have taken to occupations other than daily wage earning. After Diwali most of the community people of Andh in the villages migrates to in surrounding districts in search of employment. Migration is one of the striking characteristics of this community. Now a days the people of this community are migrating to places with families for working as labourers in large sugarcane fields during harvesting time. DISCUSSIONS Socio-Economic and Educational Status Migration: The traditional and primary occupation of the Andh is cultivation while animal husbandry, hunting and gathering as their secondary occupations. However, the ban on hunting has forced this community to quit it. Daily wages and agriculture are the two major source of income for the Andh community. Besides these seasonal migration and migration for annual contractual works are common secondary occupation of this community. The community members migrate for cutting sugarcane in surrounding districts by making toli (a group of labourers), a toli usually consists of a cluster ten families. Every year three to four toli migrate for cleaning and cutting sugarcane grown in the field. Some remaining households of Andh community who do not want to move to sugarcane field, they migrate with family to deshpatti, that is, a fertile region where wheat, turmeric or other irrigated crops are grown, for employment. This year in search of employment some sixty households have migrated to Parbhani, Kolhapur, Sangali, Baramatil, and other district regions for harvesting sugarcane with their families. Annual contractual labour: This system is in practice in the village. These annual contract labourers are called as Salgadi. There are certain norms relating to the appointment of a Salgadi. Gudipadwa is the beginning month of the annual year of these Salgadi, and on this festival every Salgadi either renew his contract or leave the job. The renewal of contract or appointment of a new Salgadi is made only in this month. This year (2011), 19 families of scheduled tribes have accepted the annual contractual labour work in surrounding areas. Contract work: This is a type of practice followed by the group of labourers. Instead of going on daily wages, the labourers take the contract of whole work and complete it within a specified time.. In such practices the labourers earn more than the daily wages. Such group takes the contract of agriculture work in surrounding villages. However this is a seasonal work and mostly happens in peak season of agriculture. In the village it is observed that, most of the wage labourers belong to Andh community. In recent times new occupations have come up like, such as opening up of hotels, kirana shops, floor mills, pan shops etc. which are almost entirely run by the members of other communities. Education: In the earlier generation, only a few members of the Andh community of had completed

4 132 Sheikh Nazir Jabbar their education up to fourth standard, and rarely any female had reached up to this level. However the situation has much changed now. After 1980s, the literacy rate among the scheduled tribes is increasing rapidly (Table 2). In the study village all the new generation, boys and girls of school age and the youths of the Andh community are going to school. Some among them are even reaching up to the post-graduate level. The educated youths are getting jobs in government offices. Some of the earlier dropout candidates have been found to be continuing their education after gap of two-three years. This is happening because governments reservation policy in jobs and scholarships for ST student are attracting the candidate for continuing their education. As per Census of India, 2001, the literacy rate among ST population of the village is per cent to the total population of the village. Amongst the literates, Scheduled Tribes are higher in comparison to other community. TABLE 2 Literacy rate among tribals of the village Source: Bench mark survey, Job status in village: Seven per cent seats in government services are reserved for the ST categories. Periodic special recruitment drives are conducted by the State government to fill up the reservation quota of ST category. As a result, in the last decade more than 25 candidates of this community have got jobs in the government offices. Mostly the candidates have preferred the job of primary teachers because in Maharashtra there is immediate job after completion of the Diploma in Education (D. ed.), or completion of 12 th Standard examination. The candidates those who have completed their 12 th Standard have got job as Untrained Teacher. In ST category as there is less competition for the job, so any ST candidate having more than average marks in the examinations, would surely get the job. For primary teacher s job, Diploma in Education (D.ed.) is compulsory in Maharashtra. The seats are reserved for the ST candidates and there is no competition in the admission for D.ed., and as there TABLE 3 Statement showing the job status of the ST candidate in the village Nature of job Number Percentage Primary teacher Police constable 4 16 CRPF 1 4 Doctor (MBBS) 1 4 Doctor (BAMS) 1 4 Total Source: Primary data of village is sure job security therefore the candidates prefer to go for D.ed. course. Another reason for seeking primary teacher s job is that, the government fills up the vacancies every year. Here again the ST candidate gets the benefits of reservation and they easily succeed in capturing the post. If any candidate has failed to take admission for D.ed. course, he /she may apply for the post of primary teacher as untrained candidate. Out of 18 primary teachers, 4 teachers have got the job after immediate completion of the 12 th Standard as a untrained primary teacher. The bright candidates of this community have gone for the medical courses while, the candidates who have failed for admission in D.ed. seek jobs other than the primary teacher s job. Now among the ST candidates there is a trend of preferring primary teacher s. job. In the Diwali vacation or summer vacation these primary teachers return to the village, and these teachers of the village discuss about their jobs with other youths of the village. And such discussions encourages the younger groups to take up teaching jobs. TABLE 4 Other categories of job holders in the village Nature of job Numbers Category Associate professor 1 Open Jr. lecturer 2 OBC Military man 1 OBC Total 4 Whereas in the open category, the parents are not very inclined in encouraging their children towards taking to teaching, they think that, only Andh people can get the job because of reservation policy. For open category there are no vacancies usually. So in the open category candidates usually discontinue their

5 Education and Employment: A Change Agent for Andh Community 133 education after seventh Standard. In Sikh community no body was found to be holding government job, while among Muslims only one is in a government job, one or two from Kalal community are in government on job. TABLE 5 Economic activities of the ST family prior to job and after getting job Particulars Prior to job After getting job Daily wage earners 6(24) 02(8) Seasonal migrants 5(20) Cultivators 7(28) 20(80) Agricultural labours 6(24) 03(12) Annual contractual labour 1(4) Total 25(100) 25(100) Source: Information gathered from village survey record in Impact of economic conditions: Clear differentiations are now seen between the salaried and no-salaried families of Andh community. The salaried families possess good economic conditions while others have to depend on the money lenders. The salaried families are investing in the agriculture and attempting to produce more in agriculture by using modern inputs and investing more for irrigating the land. This has strengthened economic condition of salaried Andh community members who do not migrate elsewhere for earning money. In the village Bhosi, most Andh members are economically weaker. However, the members of Andh community who are holding jobs are much honoured persons, and are richer than the poorer sections of the community. On the occasion of the marriages and other festivals these jobholders are invited to attend as honoured guests. Even while fixing the marriages in the village, the teacher community members are called to bargain with the other negotiating party. Even in the community programs these government servants take the reigns in their hand for managing the community programme, and they perform in a better way, more systematically, than others. Another reason for the getting respect from the elders of the community, the older generation, as it is assumed that the educated community youths are sharp and skillful in handling the critical situations that may have developed in the community. Impact on age at marriage: In Andh community child marriage was the traditional practice. Even now it is still in existence to some extent. However, most of the members of the new generations who are continuing their educations do not favour early marriage. Now no parents are ready to get their sons or daughters married before the completion of the education or getting a job. In the discussions during fieldwork it was revealed that, if the marriage takes place after getting service, the boy gets huge amount as dowry; and in the case of daughter, if she gets a job then the girl s family has not to pay any dowry. Thus the role of education in this community of scheduled tribe is very crucial for preventing the early age marriages. The youths are inclined to get marriage at appropriate age. In educated families the age at marriage has increased up to 25 years of age for males, and above 18 years for females. Impact of dowry system: The present practice of dowry paid in both cash and kind, has replaced the old custom of paying bride price. The dowry in the Andh was not practiced earlier very strongly. About a decade before highest amount of dowry had never crossed Rs 12000/-. But now this has changed, when the marriage gets fixed up the boy s party gets an amount of rupees thirty thousand, as dowry. This has been stated by 3 respondents, out of 25 respondents. This was the beginning of the jump in the amount of dowry. Thereafter there was general competition among the government job holders in the Andh community to raise the amount of the dowry for marriage. In the last five years many have demanded rupees one lakh as amount of dowry for marriage. In the Andh community there is a great desire for getting their daughter married with a government servant, and for this they manage the amount of dowry, by any way as far as possible for them. The lure for amount of the dowry has also motivated the youths to continue their education so they can get a government job. One interesting thing was observed that, the male youths who are in government service and are intending to marry are not always considering the education of the spouse, as criteria for selecting the marriage partner. For them only the amount of the dowry is the primary consideration while finalizing the marriage.

6 134 Sheikh Nazir Jabbar CONCLUSIONS It is rightly said that education is the change agent for the tribal community and this has fairly been proved among the youths of the Andh, a scheduled tribe community. The education has a pivotal role in the development of the tribal. The state government s education and reservation policy has facilitated the scheduled tribe students to continue their education. The candidates are getting the benefits of reservation and periodical special recruitment drive and training for ST candidates. As a result, mostly the educated youths of the village get the government job; and this has brought the economic stability in their families. This has further motivated other families of the ST community to continue their children s education. Therefore in comparison to other community of the village Bhosi, ST has highest number of students continuing their education. The most positive impact of education on the community is seen on the age of marriage. The sense of no marriage before government job, has developed amongst the youths of the Andh community, and this has resulted in the raise of the age of marriage. One more factor which has supported the value of education, is the expectation of huge amount as dowry after getting a service. In educated families the age at marriage has thus raised up to 25 years of age for the males, and for the females it has gone above 18 years. The impact of job is also seen on the social status of the jobholder s family. The changes in dressing pattern, having a well-constructed house, and possession of vehicles, bring respect to the jobholders in the village Bhosi. These constitutes the higher status of the jobholder s family. These are the enticing factors for other ST householders to continue education, and this has raised literacy rate amongst the Andhs in the village. REFERENCES CITED Gare, Govind Maharashtratil Adivasi Jamait. Vontinental Publication: Pune. Government of Maharashtra Maharashtra State Statistics, Bench Mark Survey Conducted in Tribal Areas of Maharashtra State. static_pages/maharashtrastatestaistics.pdf (accessed on 13 March 2011). Russel, R. V. and Hiralal The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India. Macmillan Company: London. Singh, K. S The Scheduled Tribes. Oxford University Press: Mumbai. Singh, K. S., Bhanu et al People of India: Maharashtra. Part I. Popular Prakashan: New Delhi.

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