IMPACT AREA AND PEOPLE
The Maharashtra state is located in the north centre of Peninsular India, with a command of the Arabian Sea to its west border. Vidarbha region is situated at the eastern part of the state.
Geographically Vidarbha lies on the northern part of Deccan Plateau. The Satpura Range lies to the north of Vidarbha region. Large basaltic rock formations exist throughout Vidarbha caused by the Deccan lava trap. Gondia district is unique in the sense that the entire area of the district is occupied by metamorphic rock and alluvium. The average rainfall in the Vidarbha region is ranges from 800 mm in the Western Vidarbha to 1600 mm in Eastern Vidarbha. The total geographical area of Vidarbha is 97,321 km2. This is diverse part of the country with thick dry deciduous forest in the eastern most part and semi arid, agriculture dominated area in the west.
The riverine network of Vidarbha region comprises large part of Godavari basin (Flowing to Bay of Bengal) and small part of Tapi river basin (Flowing to Arabian Sea). Wainganga is the largest of all the Vidarbha Rivers.
The impact area deals with the small river basins in the Washim district of Vidarbha; the Adan, Bembla, Arunavati (All 3 are the part of Godavari river basin) and Uma river basin (Part of Tapi river basin).
1) BHOI FISHERMEN: WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE ON BHOI FISHERMEN
2) DHIMAR FISHERMEN:
धीवर, ढीवर, धिमर, ढिमर Dhivar, the caste of fishermen and palanquin – bearers derives the name from a corruption of the Sanskrit ‘Dhivara’, a fisherman (Singh 2004). It has a large number of sub-divisions of a local or occupational nature. The ‘Singadia’ or those who cultivate ‘Singada nut’; the ‘Nadha’ or those who live on banks of streams and the ‘Dhurias’ who sell parched rice. A large number of exogamous groups are also returned, either of titular or totemistic nature: such as ‘Baghmare’ or Vaghmare, tiger-slayer; ‘Godhve, a vulture; and ‘Kolhe’ or Jackal. Marriage is prohibited between members of the same sept and between first
cousins. In many localities, families do not intermarry so long as they remember any relationship to have existed between them (Singh 2004). The occupations of Dhivar are many and various. Primarily they are fisherman and boatman. They are adept in various methods of river fishing and are regularly employed as a worker on a ferry. They monopolizes growing Singade or water nuts in tanks; also grows melons, cucumbers and other vegetables on the sandy stretches along the banks of streams, but at agriculture proper they do not excel. Their connection with water has led to them becoming the water-carrier for Hindus. With the introduction of wheeled transport, these people’s occupation as carriers of palanquins or litters has dwindled.