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Protecting sacred-groves: community-led environmental organizing by santhals of eastern India

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Dutta, Uttaran (main author)
Online journal article
Publication Date:
Taylor & Francis
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
conservation, environment, environmental communication, natural resource management, community participation, indigenous population, India (Southern Asia), protective actions, mobilization, community initiative
17 pages., via online journal., In the face of widespread degradation of natural resources (including deforestation), and socio-economic disparities, underserved populations from rural and indigenous spaces of the global south face challenges to conserve environmental resources. Many of these spaces, such as sacred-groves, are important to indigenous people and are deeply intertwined with their identity, worldviews and existence. This research, embracing principles of critical/cultural environmental communication, examines how indigenous people of eastern India mobilized collectively to protect their sacred environmental resources, thus improving community members’ well-being. Paying attention to engaged environmental action; critical listening and dialoguing; and local-centric participation, this research argues that contextually meaningful and community-led environmental initiatives help motivate and raise consciousness among future generations as well as among wider indigenous (and marginalized) populations.