Hope Amidst Hopelessness: Life Histories of Illiterate Oraon Tribal Women in Jharkhand, India.
This interpretive study asked the question: “What education and literacy
insights can be gained from the studies of the life stories of illiterate Oraon women in
Jharkhand, India?” Life history methodology was used to gain insights into the lived
experiences of illiterate women. I hoped to provide meaning and give voice to the
voiceless. Observations, in-depth and open-ended interviews were used for data
collection. The six Oraon tribal women shared their life experiences in Sadri language
with the researcher who was from the same group. Six themes were identified: First, our
lives are heavy and painful because of daily hard work; second, we do everything to
send our children to school hoping that their lives will be better than ours; third, why do
our husbands who went to school live as if they have never been to school?; fourth, no
one is there to listen to us; fifth, we look forward to cultural gatherings because they
give us joy and satisfaction and sixth occasionally our hopes are raised by those in
power but soon we are forgotten.
The study emphasizes the role of women as major providers and loss of
women’s work. The women felt shame because of illiteracy. The focus of the women’s
lives was their children. Also the lack of support from spouses and feelings of isolation
permeated their lives. Their lives were in flux due to change in household and loss of
tribal identity. The one brighter spot was their joy in celebration. The study recommendations are for more in-depth study of Oraon women and
in-depth study of the education system as related to the cultural identity of Oroans. The
influence of patriarchy on women’s lives in the Oraon community.
Adult education recommendations are for the implementation of culturally
sensitive and comprehensive literacy campaign among Oraon women. The study of
Oraon songs and dance can be used as a tool for literacy. Using a Frieran model of
literacy is recommended for training adult educators from the Oraon community.
Village involvement and supervision of community action programs is needed.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. April 2012. Major: Education, Work/Community/Family Education. Advisor: Dr. Rosemarie J. Park. 1 computer file (PDF); xvi, 277 pages, appendices A-B.
Minz, Nijhar Jharia.
Hope amidst hopelessness: life histories of illiterate Oraon women In Jharkhand, India..
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.