Thenomads of exact number of population is unknown. Because a formalcensus has never been conduct of these nomadic communities in India.
However, informal studies indicate that about five hundred endogamousgroups make their home in India. Nomadic communities constitute about7% of Indian population. The nomadic communities are found in thestate of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu,Gujarat, Karnataka,Punjab and Haryana ( Malhotra, 1982).
TheDe-notified tribe also known as ” vimukta-jati ” according toIndian criminal tribe act 1871 they were originally listed as acriminal tribe and the addicted to the systematic commission ofnon-bailable offences and Criminal Tribe Act of 1871(CTA) was revisedin 1911 and in the 1924 . The Criminal Tribe Act of 1871 (CTA) 1924was repealed by the Criminal Tribe Laws under Repeal Act,1952 on therecommendation of the A. Ayyangar Committee. As a result of thetribes notified earlier as Criminal Tribe stood Denotified, and nameof De-Notified Tribes’ has been in use for to them, since then(Rathod 2000). There are 14 De-notified tribes in Maharashtra. Theyare follows: 1) Berad, 2) Bestar, 3) Bhamta, 4) Kaikadi 5)Kankarbhat, 6) Katabu, 7) Lamani, 8) Phase Parddhi 9) Raj-Paradhi,10) Rajput-Bhamta, 11) Ramoshi, 12) Vadar, 13) Waghari and 14)Chhapparbandh(Rathod 2000).
AboutPastoralism Pastoralismhas been practiced by large populations over considerable tracts inIndia for the last 3,500 years. Sheep, buffalo, cattle, yak,goat,camel, pigs, and ducks have all been associated with a varietyof specialist pastoral castes. Yet this vital component of Indiansociety has been hardly studied, and practically nothing is known ofthe livestock economy of pastoral groups or the ecological conditionson which it is based (Gadgil ,Malhotra,1982). In India of thePastoral nomadic communities also live in Himalya Region.Thepastoral nomads never settled in one place. They move from one placeto another place in search of water and fodder for their livestock.The livelihood of the community is totally depending on livestock.
Pastoral nomads migrate often from place to place and their migratingplaces are not defined they migrate wherever fodder and water areavailable for their livestock. Therefore, there is no defined path ofmigration.TheDhangar community of MaharashtraTheDhangar community which is the nomadic tribe group (NT) is communityof the state of the Maharashtra. It is the considered as a nomadicpastoral group at the national level (Rupesh Jadhav,2014 TISS). Thename Dhangar is derived by some from thr Sankrit word ” Dhenugar”meaning cow-keeper, but the etymology seems rather hctitious, for theDhangars have never been known to tend cows, sheep. The Dhangars haveno tradition which will throw light upon their origin. In physicalcharacter and customs they resemble the Maratha Kunbis, whichsuggests that they are formed form them( Hassan S.
) Apastoralist group predominantly occurring in Maharashtra are theDhangars who are a traditional semi nomadic group. They maintainlarge herds of largely sheep along with goats, buffaloes, horses,dogs and chickens. The men and women share work with relation toherding, feeding, milking, assisting ewes in labour, taking care ofthe animal (Patil , Meena & Tripathi, et.
Al 2009).TheDhangar is known as a Nomads because Dhangar people are dependent oncows sheeps, Goats and buffaloes, and for that purpose they wanderfor fodder to their animals. In this process the cows encroach onother people’s land. Dhangar nomads are selling the milk productionto the villagers but they don’t get money from people they only takegrain from customers. These people known as Dhangar, they were mainlyplaced in the western part of Maharashtra. The traditional professionof the Dhangars is to tend to sheep and goats.
The Dhangar communityhas been divided mainly two major sub caste ,and the first major subcaste is Hatkar Dhangar and second sub caste Khutekar Dhangar. TheHatkar Dhangar engages in Shepherding occupation for the purpose ofwool and meats as well as they do farming, services and otheroccupation. While the Khutekar Dhangar is depends on the blanketweaving occupation and they also do the various types otheroccupation, such as agriculture, wages, service and other occupation. sub-castes of the Dhangars given by various scholars are as followsThis Sub caste are most Important in Maharashtra, According toEnthoven has enlisted the following 22 endogamous groups ordivisions, of the Dhangars. (l) Ahir, (2) Asal-Maratha, 65 (3)Banaji, (4) Barage, (5) Bande or Methkari,(6) Dange, (7) Gadage, (8)Gavali, (9) Ghogatunya, (10) Hatkar or Zende, (11) Holkar, (12)Kangar, (13) Khilari or Thillari, (14) Khutekar or Khute, (15) Lad,(16) Kuktekar, (17) Mendhe, (18) Mhaske, (19) Sangar, (20) Shegar,(21) Shilatya Utegar and (22) Musalman (Rathod 2000).
Accordingto Mr. Shankar Baburao Lande , has given as many as 35 sub-castes ofthe Dhangars – (1) Ahir, (2) Asal, (3) Vanuji, (4) Bargeband, orMedkari (Barage), (5) Dange or Dunge, (6) Gadge, (7) Gavali, (8)Ghogtunya, (9) Hatkar or Jhendewale, (10) Holkar, (11) Kangar, (12)Khellari or Thillari, (13) Khilkari, (14) Khutekar or Khute, (15)Kuketkar, (16) Lad, (17) Mendhe, (18) Mhaske or Mhskar, (19) Sangeror Sanagar, (20) Shegar, (21) Shikotya, (22) Utegan, (23) Kuche, (24)Tirumule, (25) Varadi or Borade, (26) Kanore or Kande, (27) Jads,(28) Landse, (29) Gadre, (30) Telange, (31) Maratha, (32) Mahurai,(33) Barge, (34) Langote, (35) Vaidu Dhangar(Rathod 2000).The Dhangarworship special type of heavenly creatures, including Shiva, Vishnu,Parvati and Mahalaxmi as their kuldevta. The Khandoba is favouritegod of the caste and is worshipped every Sunday and om Saturday. Thestructures fuse Khandoba, Beeralingeswara (Biroba), Mhasoba, Dhuloba(Dhuleshwar), Vithoba, Siddhanath (Shidoba), Janai-Malai, Tulai,Yamai, Padubai, and Ambabai (Haokip D 2017).
Populationof Dhangar Community:Therehas been no attempt made by government to find out accuratepopulation of the Community. The basis of the nomadic communitypopulation lies in the first census carried out in 1931 thereaftercaste bases census was not conducted. However community was excludedfrom later conducted censuses, hence authentic population data of thecommunity is still missing. The some volunteers made an effort tofigure out population of the community. Still, there is no accuratepopulation and not categorization as per their sub group.
Therefore,it is difficult to know the population of the pastoral communities (Malhotra, 1982). Dhangarcommunity of Satara District:TheDhangar caste cluster in Satara District is composed of sixendogamous subcastes, namely (l) Dange (2) Halmat, (3) Hatkar, (4)Mendhe, (5) Sangar and (6) Sende. They are found more or less allover the district. According to the Compbell the Dhangar populationin Satara region in the year 1881 was 42,150 or 5.86 percent of thedistrict’s Hindu population. We have no other record of the Dhangarpopulation of the district upto the year 1941. According to Dr.
P.C.Patil the Dhangar population of Satara district in 1941 was 3.1percent of the total Hindu population.
He has given Petay Mahal andJahagir wise population of the community.Issueand problems of Dhangar’s Theissues like continuous migration, superstitions, child marriages,illiteracy are resulting in their socio-economic backwardness. So itis the responsibility of the students, professionals and activists toidentify and discuss various issues at micro and macro level fortheir holistic development. By the way responsibility of pay back tosociety will inculcate among the students, professionals andactivists. It seems that the Dhangar community earn well but theyare unable to manage their resources for long-term and they areunable to take decisions for sustainability Because the incomepattern is very important to understand economic condition of theDhangar people. But it’s very difficult to understand the actualincome of the Dhangar community. Today most of the Dhangar youth areprefer to migration in cities.
Their income pattern show that most ofthe youth were migrant laborer from their native place.Linkageof Drought, Livelihood and Dhangar Accordingto Allchin (1963) the pastoral nomads are animal herders andbreeders. Pastoral nomads are the people who derive most of theirincome or sustenance from keeping domestic livestock. In thepastoralism activity, community depends on the sheep, goats, cattlesand yaks etc. for their survival and livelihood source. The term’livelihood’ includes the capabilities, assets (material andsocial resources), and activities for ensuring means of living(Carney, 1998).
The nomadism is a social group with no permanenthabitation or residence (Spooner, 1971). Nomads are an isolated andneglected part of the Indian society. There is an estimated 30 to 40million populations of nomads in a world. (Goyal, 2005)So,accordingto Parmeshwar D.Umalea (2015) report, the likely increase infrequency of droughts will have negative impacts on agriculture,forestry, and ecosystems (land degradation, crop damage, loweryields, increased livestock deaths, and increased risk of wildfire);water resources (more widespread water stress); human health(increased risk of food and water shortages, malnutrition, and water-and food-borne diseases); and industry, settlements and society(water shortages for industry and societies, reduction in hydropowergeneration potentials and increased potential for populationmigration).
Theshortage of water not only causes implications for the crops but alsoothers in relation to it such as cattle which relies on it forfodder. The consequences of a drought are determined by humaninteractions and not climate alone (Das et. al., 2007).