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Dancing with the RiverPeople and Life on the Chars of South Asia$
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Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt and Gopa Samanta

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300188301

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300188301.001.0001

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Bhitar O Bahir Katha Inside and Outside Stories of Chars and the Mainland

Bhitar O Bahir Katha Inside and Outside Stories of Chars and the Mainland

(p.78) Chapter 4 Bhitar O Bahir Katha Inside and Outside Stories of Chars and the Mainland
Dancing with the River

James C. Scott

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the interactions between chars and mainland areas—areas that lie across the embankments within which the chars have formed. The prosperity of agricultural Burdwan continues to attract migrants to the chars despite the fact that chars have largely remained outside the purview of rural development programs. Burdwan received a significant portion of postindependence rural development programs because it is one of the selected Integrated Agricultural District Programme (IADP) districts in India. Chars are nowhere near the general development indicators that make Burdwan such an important district in eastern India as they are located at the margins of the mainland and due to their uncertain legal status. Even in recent times, the existence of char communities remains largely unknown, ill understood, and unexplored by those living across the embankments of the Damodar.

Keywords:   chars, mainland, Burdwan, IADP, embankments

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