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Theme: Food Security And Sovereignty

Endogenous Nutritive Foods in High Altitudes of Western Himalayas

It is evident that India ranks top for undernourished children in the world. It is also proved that the economic growth alone cannot reduce malnutrition sufficiently. Though the state of Himachal Pradesh is considered prosperous zone, the rate of infant and child mortality and morbidity is very high in high altitude areas. Surprisingly the abundance of food production and natural resources is above average in high altitude zones; yet the faulty feeding and caring practices of families cause about 60% infants and young children undernourished. When the assumption is that the food insecurity is primary cause of malnutrition, perhaps largest numbers of rich-nutrition traditional foods are still grown/ gathered in high altitudes of Himalayan region. Having been working with the rural traditional communities the Grassroots Institute has observed worse form of malnutrition, unhygienic conditions, and lack of sanitation clearly because of illiteracy, lack of knowledge and less awareness of families.

The dimensions of participatory research include:
  • Magnitude of malnutrition among infants and mothers,
  • Mapping of endogenous foods and nutrients,
  • Local wisdom of mothers on nutrition/hygiene,

The project is currently operational in Kullu and districts with future possibility of extension in Kangra and Chamba districts of Himachal Pradesh.

Theme: Indigenous Law and Customary Rights

Recognition and Derecognition of Customary Law and Rights of Indigenous People

Tribal communities in India have their own history of struggles for identity, citizenship, survival, representation and pro-people development. Jharkhand is characterized with unique history of mobilization and assertion for ethnic identities and control over resources and self-determination. In the quest of governing the tribal territories the tribes evolved their own system of governance for the purpose of regulating the individual and communal behaviour of the people in the society. Central India and North-East India are reported with the tribal groups having their traditional social institutions – called traditional self-governance (TSG) institutions - with well-structured customary law and a strong concept of democratic participation and governance. With the growing changes in the societies and the formulation of modern governance systems in the country the TSG institutions and customary legal structures underwent a decay process; however, the traditional institutions at some places developed resilience and considerably overcome the erosion.

First phase of research was completed in 2005, now the second phase of research is in starting stage focusing the “recognition and derecognition of customary law and rights of indigenous people” in North-East India.
food Security