This is a study into the social economy of a remotely located tribal village in Himachal Pradesh. The village studies, is called Chhitkul, which is the last village on the Indo-Tibetan border in district Kinnaur and remains buried under snow for 5-6 months in the year. It is one of the very few village studies for which the field work has been done by the authors themselves by continuous stay with the people in the village. The village presents several peculiarities in occupational pattern, crop husbandry, livestock rearing, housing, social customs, marital system, role of women in a polyandrous group, distillation and consumption of liquor, mode of living, authority of village deity and Her progressive outlook, etc. The study has brought out vast scope for the development of this village, located in a difficult terrain. For reasons of extremely cold climate, only one crop can be grown in a year. As such sheep and goat rearing makes the economy agro-pastoral. The suggestions are based on the local conditions and needs. These include provision of wool shearing machines, machine for wool ginning, improved wool spinning wheels, wool based cottage industries, marketing facilities, saw mill, know-how and do-how in vegetable production, health and child welfare schemes, minihydro-electric generators, etc.
Dr. R. Swarup (b. 1928) had his education at Government Agricultural College, Kanpur (now Chander Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture and Technology, Kanpur) and Delhi School of Economics. After serving at prestigious institutions like the Allahabad Agricultural Institute, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, Mosul University in Iraq etc. he heads the Agro-Economic Research Centre for Western Himalayan Region since its establishment in, 1973 at Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla. He has contributed a number of research papers and co-authored books titled – Agricultural Development in Himachal Pradesh, Management of Social Forestry in India, Production and Marketing of Apples, and Horticultural Development in Hill Areas. Mr. Ranveer Singh (b. 1954) obtained M.Sc. (Agri. Econ.) degree in 1977 from Meerut University and M.Phil. from Himachal Pradesh University in 1979 where after he has been serving as a Senior Research Assistant at the Agro-Economic Research Centre, H.P. University. Mr. Singh is an enthusiastic field worker and a keen researcher. He has contributed research papers nearing a score in number.
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