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BOOKS

Peoples of Himalayas

PROGRAMME ON MAN AND THE BIOSPHERE (MAB) UNESCO

A DESERT IN THE SKY: LIFE ON AN EDGE AMONG THE CHANGPAS OF CHANGTHANG

VEENA BHASIN (University of Delhi, Delhi, India)

2011 • Pages: 204 • Size: 180 × 240 mm •

Binding: Hard • ISBN 81-85264-59-7 • Price: US $ 55/- Rs. 750/-

Tribals Ladakh

This study focuses on adaptations of the Changpas of Changthang and their traditional subsistence techniques to its particular environment, together with the far-reaching socio-economic alterations imposed on this traditional system by external factors. The livelihood of the Changpas has always been dependent on the natural resources and sensitive to climate change. However, such events can easily be separated from the major issues like pasture degradation and policy changes. The Changpas have always known and felt that their lives are affected by the variable and harsh climate. However, they see the government policy of declaring their land as protected area, (in addition to other socio-political factors of stationing of army, shrinkage of winter pasture, addition of Tibetan Refugees to their area and opening of area to the tourists) as a fundamental threat to their pastoral way of life. Adaptation is a necessary strategy at all scales to compliment changes.The programmes are not area specific. Even though the division has its own geographical and demographic characteristics, the programmes are almost identical for all the border blocks. The area specific needs either are neglected or are not fully taken care of. The programmes are formulated without any clarity of concepts and methods leading to

serious problems in implementation. The way things are going, it may lead to the possible demise of the nomadic way of life in this border area. To sustain mobility and the Changpa way of life, a multi-pronged strategy is required to deal with the problems of this border area with include a fragile environment, poor infrastructure and grievances of the people.

CONTENTS

Preface

iii

  1. CHAPTER 1

    Introduction
    1-31

  2. CHAPTER 2


    Changpas of Changthang, Ladakh
    33-74

  3. CHAPTER 3


    Making a Living
    75-110

  4. CHAPTER 4


    Social Organisation
    111-154

  5. CHAPTER 5


    ‘Pushes and Pulls’ Out -Migration and Sedentarisation
    155-177

  6. CHAPTER 6


    Concluding Remarks
    179-190

References

191-197

Index

199-202

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