Environmental displacement and precarious livelihoods in Eastern India

My current research explores environmental displacement caused by flash floods in the Araria district of Bihar, India. In recent years, Araria has been affected by severe flooding induced by climate change that has altered rainfall patterns and made monsoon more intense. During the 2017 floods, 95 people were killed in inundation-related incidents and tens of thousands were forced to flee their homes and seek safety from temporary relief camps. The town of Jogbani located close to the Nepal border was one of the worst affected areas. My focus is on how flash floods shape Jogbani residents’ livelihoods and perception of place as the threat of inundation looms over new areas. How do people adjust their livelihood strategies in order to cope with changing environmental conditions and the threat of future displacements?

The research is part of the project Sustainable Livelihoods and Politics at the Margins: Environmental Displacement in South Asia, which explores how people perceive and negotiate their weather and climate-related displacement, and how they struggle for their right to earn a sustainable living. The four-year project (2018-2022) is funded by the Academy of Finland.


Differentiated citizenship, displacement, and materiality in state-citizen relations in Ahmedabad

I will defend my thesis in Ethnology and Anthropology in 2019.

My doctoral dissertation examines the character of relations between the state and the citizens in the context of large-scale urban redevelopment in Ahmedabad.  Based on ethnographic methods, it explores how the entanglement of the world-class aesthetic and Hindu nationalism in Ahmedabad (re)constructs citizenship, nation, and the state, and how people displaced in the name of development perceive the state and negotiate the changing terms of belonging. It analyses the aftermath of the displacement and resettlement of urban poor with a focus on everyday life in Sadbhavna Nagar, one of the most populous resettlement sites in the city.