Daniel Buckles and Rajeev Khedkar / with Bansi Ghevde and Dnyaneshwar Patil
Cambridge University Press India / 2013-01-01
978-93822-6453-8 / 258 pg.
A new book, Fighting Eviction, tells the story of the Katkari, one of the poorest of India’s 600 tribes, and their struggle to remain in hamlets they have occupied for generations near Mumbai.
In recent years, rising land values near India’s booming financial capital have prompted landowners to sell their land to developers, putting the Katkari at increased risk of eviction.
The book recounts the Katkari’s use of innovative problem-solving and decision-making tools that have helped them better understand their situation, and develop an action plan. It conveys the results of five years of IDRC-funded research on two compelling issues: the land and housing rights of tribal populations, and methods for engaging marginalized people in action research.
“It illustrates what it means to do research with people rather than on people,” says co-author Daniel Buckles, a professor at Carleton University in Ottawa. “Our goal is to engage readers in the ongoing struggle of the Katkari and in reflection on what research and the making of knowledge are all about.”
Co-author Rajeev Khedkar, who served as director of the Indian NGO Academy of Development Science, describes the transformation that occurred after the Katkari began tackling their problems as a community. "Now they've come together, and they're saying that 'we will stay put on this land. We will not let anyone evict us.'"
“While the threats are far from over," the authors write, "the Katkari's resolve to stay in their hamlets is much stronger than it was at the outset.”