Migrant Tribe in a Globalizing City: Educational Views, Aspirations and Choices of the Santals in Kolkata

Ruchira Das | 2017


The chapter is based on an empirically grounded exploratory/qualitative study on the Santals, a tribal community. The Santals are migrants who have shifted from different parts of West Bengal and the neighbouring states of Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa and have settled in Santragachi, an urban locality that falls within the Greater Kolkata region. This chapter attempts to capture the educational world views, aspirations and choices of the community across two generations as permanent residents of a globalising city for more than three decades. Contradictory views are found across generations with regard to formal schooling. On the one hand, the first-generation Santal migrants with their state-oriented class values are yet to lose faith in government system of education. On the other, the second-generation Santals have imbibed market-oriented class values and aspires to move with the demands of the time by preferring education in private schools over state-run schools for their third generation who are at their primary stage of schooling. This chapter thus reflects the dilemmas and the paradox within the Santal community of Santragachi on their concerns for the ‘right kind’ of education to survive the globalising city of Kolkata.