Poverty and Inequality in Rural Assam An Indicative Study of Seven Villages in Udalguri Subdivision, Assam (India)

Department of Economics, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong India
Source: RePEc


This study is based on primary data collected from randomly chosen 182 households inhabiting seven sample villages in the Udalguri subdivision, Assam (india). It indicates that at least 35.85 percent of the population (and 33.52 percent of households) in the sample villages is below poverty line (at Rs. 400 per capita per month). On the other hand, no more than 39.5 percent of the people (and 37.36 percent households) is likely to stand under the poverty line (at Rs. 425 per capita per month). The observed values of Gini index in the sample villages are considerably high. In the first five villages the Gini index is 41.84 while in the last two villages it is 48.69. Overall the value of Gini index in the sample villages is 44.31. The prime reasons of poverty are excessive dependence on primary sector, disguised unemployment, poor development of marketing facilities, connectivity and power supply, poor agricultural productivity, absence of any significant manufacturing activities, etc resulting into an hourglass shaped occupational distribution.

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Available from: Sudhanshu K Mishra, Oct 08, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Based on the primary data collected from 182 rural households from seven villages (five of which are inhabited by indigenous population and the rest two are inhabited by immigrants Muslim population from Bangladesh) this study aims at knowing if cultural variables make a difference to economic performance of these households. We find that the households of two groups of villages (Group-1 consisting indigenous population and Group-2 consisting the immigrants from Bangladesh) can be discriminated among themselves on the criteria of farming efforts (the inputs they apply to agriculture and the output they raise on the land) as well as the sources of income harnessed by them. The inhabitants of Group-2 villages, once they have enough land to cultivate, practise commercial agriculture for the market to earn higher income, but the inhabitants of the Group-1 villages still continue with the traditional agriculture, chiefly with an objective to sustenance, in spite of having enough land to cultivate. The land resources make little difference to economic achievements across the two groups of villages. In short, the farmers of Group-2 villages, whenever feasible, are enterprising. Secondly, most of the farmers in Group-2 villages apply family labour for supervision, management and marketing of the produce. To work on farms they hire labourers abundantly available in the village itself and in other villages around. Thirdly, many households in the Group-1 villages derive income from service and orchards (which characterizes an extensive use of land). On the other hand, most of the households of the Group-2 villages (who own land) use land intensively. Fourthly, many inhabitants of Group-2 villages, in spite of being economically well off, are thrifty. They save to invest or to tide over the adversities and eventualities. Inhabitants of Group-1 villages spend less owing to the paucity of resources. But whenever the resources permit, they do spend lavishly. As a matter of fact, t
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