resettlement and rehabilitation of people

Rehabilitation Issues: Meaning, Issues and Objectives!


The United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights has declared that right to housing is a basic human right. In India, most of the displacements have resulted due to land acquisition by the government for various reasons.

For this purpose, the government has the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 which empowers it to serve notice to the people to vacate their lands if there is a need as per government planning. Provision of cash compensation in lieu of the land vacated exists in the Act.


The major issues related to displacement and rehabilitation is as follows:

(a) Tribal are usually the most affected amongst the displaced that are already poor. Displacement further increases their poverty due to loss of land, home, jobs, food insecurity, loss of access to common property assets, increased morbidity and mortality and social isolation.

(b) Break up of families in an important social issue arising due to displacement in which the women are the worst affected and they are not even given cash/land compensation.

(c) The tribal are not familiar with the market policies and trends. Even if they get cash compensation, they get alienated in the modern economic set up.

(d) The land acquisition laws ignore the communal ownership of property, which is an inbuilt system amongst the tribal. Thus the tribal lose their communitarian basis of economic and cultural existence. They feel like fish out of water.

(e) Kinship systems, marriages, social and cultural functions, their folk­songs, dances and activities vanish with their displacement, even when they are resettled; it is individual-based resettlement, which totally ignores communal settlement.

(f) Loss of identify of individuals and the loss of connection between the people the environment is the greatest loss in the process. The indigenous knowledge that they have regarding the wildlife and the herbal plants are lost.

Objectives of Rehabilitation:

The following objectives of rehabilitation should be kept in mind before the people are given an alternative site for living:

1. Tribal communities should be allowed to live along the lives of their own patterns and other should avoid imposing anything on them.

2. The displaced people should be given employment opportunities.

3. Villagers should be taken into confidence at every stage of implementation of the displacement and they should be educated.