Effects Of Urbanization On The Economy History Essay

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Abstract-:This paper answers some of the question like how the urbanization had effected the original Occupation of the Mawasi Community which was hunting, gathering, fowling and trapping .How due to impact of Urbanization the Occupation is changed to Trolley pulling, Daily labour, Agriculturist, Factory workers etc. How the division of labour had changed from simple to complex with woman earning as well as preparing food. How the strict forest laws had restricted the forest activity of the Mawasi which were earlier totally dependent on the forest product. How all these factors due to there cumulative effect has dragged the Mawasi in the clutches of the Poverty.


In order to understand the effect of urbanization on the Mawasi, it is important to know who the Mawasi are and what is meant by urbanization.

The Mawasi [1] are considered to be the branch of Korku tribe. Since they hail from Mawas region, they are called as Mawasi. They are sporadically distributed in the hill tracts of Hosangabad, Panna and Satna districts of Madhya Pradesh and claim to be the autochthones of the area. According to 1991 census the total population of Mawasi tribe is15093.They depend for their living mainly on agriculture, forest products, agricultural labour, trolley pulling etc.

Urbanization [2] refers properly to a growth in the proportion of a country's population living in urban centers of a particular size. In general urbanization appears to be associated with the industrialization.

Critics of Urbanization believes that Urbanization has contradictory consequences for the economic growth, since it cheapens the cost of providing services such as health and education while increasing the cost of labour that can no longer supplement its wages by small scale wages production. It is this aspect of Urbanization that is effecting the Mawasi tribe and dragging them in to the clutches of poverty. This paper deals with how Mawasi people are adapting to the present phase of Urbanization.

Effect of Urbanization

On the Occupation -: As already indicated, the traditional occupation of the Mawasi was gathering, hunting, fowling and trapping. After the independence of India, the Mawasi became entitled to a series of programmes for their rehabilitation and consequent integration with the society at large. Accordingly, Rehabilitation colonies were set up for them where the Mawasi were provided with cultivable land having standing crops, homesteads, bullocks and ploughs, poultry birds, and several such other items in order to provide them with adequate subsistence. Incidentally, in great many cases, such programmes sparingly met with any success

As per Study Carried out by me in 2007-08; they supplement their income by working as daily- wage labourers, when hunting and fishing yield little return. According to the 1991 census, 43.36 percent of them are returned as workers (53.34 per cent males and 36.66 per cent of females). Of them 2.37 % are engaged in forestry, fishing, etc. 38.08 % are agricultural labourers, 54.85 % as cultivators and the remaining 4.85 % are engaged in other services. Markets are located close to their village and they go there to sell firewood, honey etc.

Through the recent survey carried among the Mawasi of Pindara(in2007-08), a rehabilitation colony, it is found that despite their exclusive control over some land distributed by the Local government, the people have been hardly interested in involving themselves in agriculture activities as their primary means of Livelihood. Little over one percent of them participate as agriculture labourers, approximately 48 % of them still depend upon gathering the forest products. Nearly 6% of them are practicing occupation like poultry, pig domestication etc.

What appears evident in this context is the apparent apathy toward agriculture as the primary means of the livelihood. Despite availability of some land by cultivation of which they could supplement of their family earning to a major extent, their preference of gathering the forest products to agriculture seems conspicuous. Nevertheless, the Mawasi do not consume everything they gather from the forest. They exchange certain items and sell certain others. Their Participation in agriculture production system could have strengthened such activities. But the Mawasi seem to have a clear preference code, according to which they plan their livelihood strategy and that is gathering of the forest products.

2. On Division of Labour_: All societies have some division of labor, some customary assignment of different kind of work to different kinds of people. Universally, males and females and adults and children do not do the same kinds of work. In a sense, then, division of labor by gender and age is a kind of universal specialization of labor. Many societies known to anthropology divide labor only by gender and age; other societies have more complex specialization.

All societies make use of gender difference to some extent in their customary assignment of labor. Age is also a universal basis for division of labor. Clearly, children cannot do work that require a great deal of strength. But in many societies children contribute much more in labor then do children in our own societies. When children in a societies do a great deal of work ,parents may value them more and may consciously want to have more children .This may be one of the reason that the birth rates are very high in intensive agriculture societies where work load is very high.

Traditionally Mawasi had a very simple division of labour men go for Hunting, Gathering, Fowling and Trapping and Women stays at home and prepare food, looks over the children etc. But now the division of labour has changed which can be easily understood by the following examples

Serial No.




Wife's Name

Wife's Occupation

Wife's Education


Ram Manohar

Trolley Puller


Geeta Bai

Collecting Woods and Chatai making



Raja Ram


Studied up to 4th standard

Chanda Bai

Help in sowing seed, reaping of crops along with wood collecting




Tadi sellor


Radha Bai

Wood collecting and chatai making



Ram Asre

Agriculture labor



Agriculture labor


In all the above examples a clear cut distinction of division of labor by gender can be easily seen. It also depicts that men only have a single economic utility but women have a number of economic utility for example the wife of agriculturist use to sow seed ,reap crop and in the off season she collect wood and prepare chatai. She also help there husband in digging land on contract basis. Therefore we can say that the most common occupation among the women is wood collecting making chatai and selling them.

As the husband brings the major share of money so he is the most important member of the family although he performs only single economic activity. Women after completing there economic activities cook food and men use to drink there indigenous liquor 'Tadi' .All the laborer and trolley puller give their daily wages to their wife who will look after the various needs of the family members

3. On The Forest As a Source Of Livelihood:

"The principal occupation of the Mawasi inhabiting Satna district of Madhya Pradesh, is collection of forest product like cocoons, lac, resin, honey, wax, tubers, yam and such other items. In fact, they primarily subsist on the products and spoils of their chase in the forest" [3] 

Forest as a source of livelihood

The primary source of the Mawasi women is the products of the forest. One cannot imagine the livelihood of the Mawasi community without the forest. The Mawasi women goes early in the forest and collect different items from the forest .The various items collected from the forest can be listed as follows :-

Serial No.

Forest Product



Season/Months Of Collection

Modes Of collection

Role of kinship/clan




Throughout the Year

Dry woods fallen on the land and cut the dry branch of the tree by help of axe

If excess the they are given else used by the nuclear family only




April (chaitra)

Plucked by Hands

If excess the they are given else used by the nuclear family only




Throughout the Year

By using smoke they make the Hive empty and the collect the honey

If excess the they are given else used by the nuclear family only




Throughout the Year

By hands

If excess the they are given else used by the nuclear family only




Throughout the Year

By hands

If excess the they are given else used by the nuclear family only






By climbing the tree and collecting by hands from the nest

If excess the they are given else used by the nuclear family only

Forest Laws & the Mawasi [4] 

India is one of the few countries which have the forest policy since 1894. It was revised in 1952 & again in 1988. Then main plank of the Forest policy is protection, conservation & development of forest. Their aims are

The conservation of the natural heritage

Check on soil erosion and denudation in catchments area of rivers, lakes & reservoir.

Check on extension of sand dunes in desert areas of Rajasthan & along coastal track.

Substantial increase in forest tree cover through massive trees afforestation & social forestry programmed.

steps to meet requirement of fuel wood , fodder , minor forest produce soil timber of rural & tribal population

Increase in productivity of forest to meet the national needs

A national forestry action Programme (NFAP) has also been formulated as a comprehensive strategic long term plan for the next 20 years. The objective of NFAP is to bring one third of the area of the country under tree/forest cover and to arrest deforestation. Under the provision of the forest (conservation) Act 1980, prior approval of the central govt. is required for diversion of forest land for non forest purposes. The regional chief conservator of forest are empowered to decide cases on diversion on forest land for non forestry purposes up to the extent of 5Hect.Except mining and regularization of encroachment. They have also been empowered to examine cases involving forest land from 5Hect. To 20Hect. In consultation with the state advisory group In pursuit of the national forest policy, 1998, the 100 % centrally sponsored scheme, namely, "association of scheduled tribe and rural poor regeneration of degraded forest on sharing Basis" was continued to involve the local people in rehabilitation of degraded foresting tribe dominated area.


My hypotheses were as follows:

1. Due to subsequent Forest Acts enacted from time to time and Deforestation , the Mawasi, who were formerly gathering and hunting community, have been forced to adopt different economic activity for subsistence

2. Due to continued Religious, political and other social interaction with the Hindu caste population the Mawasi of the village Pindara have almost adapted all the economic activities (suitable to them) of lower caste of Hindus

Hypothesis Tested

I found both of them true. The reasons are as follows:

As far as first hypothesis is concerned with the pie graph it can be proved that only 18.3% of female and 7.045% of the male are practicing there original occupation and rest of 74% of the Mawasi have shifted to different modes of occupation.

Serial no.


Numbers of Mawasi


Trolley pulling



Daily labor



Female wood collector






Male wood cutter



Factory worker






Liquor seller



Pig farming


The above table succinctly proves my hypothesis which is further tested by the graph given below.

As far the second hypothesis is concerned most of the Hindu lower caste people is practicing the trolley pulling, labor etc. which is the major occupation of the Mawasi as depicted in the charts above, so this hypothesis also holds good.


The economic system of the Mawasi is an admixture of primitive as well as modern. As far as Primitive Economy is concerned it is only limited to the female member. They use to go to the near by forest and collect the dry woods and other forest material. Keeping small portion for fuel rest sell them either for money or exchange them for Rice (barter system).As they are living at a very subsistence level so most of the children don't go to school. They either assist there mother in collecting woods or pass there time by playing games. The primitive economy can also be seen while purchasing the ice-cream, they buy ice-cream by giving the suitable amount of rice or any other grain.

The modern economy is for the male members of the society. The male member should be strong enough to do laborious work. Generally boys above 12 year are considered fit for the job. They move out from their house early in the morning by taking little food generally rice with salt and water. They went near the Pindara post office take the trolley on rent for 10 Rs. daily and wait for there customer who will give them money when they put there goods from one place to another. The modern economy can also be seen with the labor, agriculturist and similar type of occupation practicing Mawasi.

Thus we find that under the same roof and in the same family both extremes of economy i.e. Barter along with most evolved Market economy can be seen. Most of the Mawasi follows "earn and spend" type of economy or in other words "hand to mouth" type of economy. Most of the days earning were spent on that very day. The first preference is given to 'tadi' followed by rice. Both male as well as female use to drink 'tadi' .This is the case with the labor and trolley pulling Mawasi. There are few Mawasi who are agriculturist and save there money for future.

As the government is helping whole heartedly therefore there is complete absence of money lender. A type of social stratification can be seen clearly. The people practicing agriculture are more prosperous and happy then the trolley puller and labor class. Land is provided by the government along with irrigation facility and time to time help were given but there are only few Mawasi who are grabbing the opportunity. As far as the division of labor is concerned the man ploughs the land with the help of the bullock and the women sow the seeds. When the time of reaping comes the women reaps the crop. During the construction of the road both husband and wife both participated equally.

The tribal culture of India has undergone changes owing to several factors, such as impact of Hinduism, Christianity, or Islam, Introduction of education by missionaries or government, development of various means of communications etc; nevertheless, the greatest impact has been that of urbanization.