Bridging the Social Gap: Perspectives on Dalit Empowerment addresses four interrelated issues. It conceptualises exclusion-linked deprivation of excluded and indigenous groups in Indian society and elaborates the concept and meaning of social exclusion in general, and of caste-, untouchability- and ethnicity-based exclusion in particular. It then presents the status of disadvantaged groups of Dalit and Adivasi and captures inter-social group inequalities in the attainment of human development. It then goes on to analyse factors associated with high deprivation of these disadvantaged groups in terms of low access to resources, employment, education and social needs. Finally, it highlights the role of caste discrimination in economic, civil and political spheres in the persistence of group inequalities.

All these issues have been explained using simple language; relevant and recent data; case studies; news highlights related to civil, social, economic and political rights violation for easy and better understanding of readers.

Occupational Pattern

Occupational pattern

Agriculture continues to be the mainstay of the Indian population, though some trends towards occupational diversification of rural workers from agricultural sector toward non-agricultural sector have been observed in the recent decades. Traditionally, Scheduled Castes (SCs) have been denied property rights. Caste system as a system of occupational assignment and social milieu has relegated them to the peripheral occupations and hence, economic mobility. Several welfare programmes aimed to promote the emancipation and economic mobility among the scheduled groups have been conceived and implemented by the government. It is worthwhile to evaluate the changes that such policy interventions have brought about in the occupational status of SCs and Scheduled Tribes (STs).

The main objective of this chapter is to analyse the changes in the ...

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