THE ROLE OF CULTURE AND SUSTAINABLE RURAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE BODO COMMUNITY OF ASSAM (WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO BODO WOMEN): A CASE STUDY IN BAKSA DISTRICT OF ASSAM

Prithwiraj Swargiary
Ex-Student, Department of Economics, University of Pune, Maharashtra, India

Abstract
In this paper, an attempt has been made to examine the role of culture of the Bodo community of Baksa District of Assam in sustaining rural development by taking the local perspectives of Bodo people with special reference to Bodo women. The analysis revealed that culture has many intrinsic values, which need to sustain in rural development in addition to instrumental values for achieving ecological, economic and social goals of sustainability. We were also able to identify four discourses: continuity, locality, diversity and rights and responsibilities, which frame the sustainable rural development and which need to be carefully considered by policies and further studies on sustainable rural development. The reasons for the significance of cultural values are complex and many advocacy groups have not successfully provided clear explanations for and convincing arguments in favour of prioritizing cultural values in the development processes. The aim of this paper is to examine the roles played by culture in relation to sustainable rural development, posing the question of how cultural traditions might potentially offer alternatives/adaptive strategies, not only to strength livelihood assets of rural communities, but also in generating new opportunities during vulnerabilities caused by economic, social and political changes.

Key words:  Bodo Community, Women, Education, Occupation, Sources of Income

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