Involuntary Migration and Social Reconstruction: The Case of the Hirakud Dam in Orissa, India
AbstractPeople normally migrate for upward social mobility and these days they are well informed about their destination before they move out. Despite that sometimes the short term and long term migration may not always be a pleasant experience. When it is compulsive migration, because of circumstances beyond control, the experiences might be a surprise pleasant in rare cases. In most cases it results in dispossessions of several sorts. In case of people who were compelled to move out of the catchment area of the Hirakud dam to different old established villages, camps and colonies and to the peripheral villages, even within the same district of Orissa state, their overall experience was pathetic. Seventy years after the construction of the dam, when the third generation population of the original inhabitants is available for discussion, the situation is far from satisfactory. Although dam construction across a river has many benefits, we must take into account the long term social costs and ponder whether we go for the construction of such mega projects uprooting people from their home and hearth.
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