Socio-Economic Dimensions of Education among the Betta Kuruba: Anthropological Insights from Mysuru District, Karnataka

This research attempts to explore the socio-economic dimensions of formal education among the Betta Kuruba, a forest-dwelling tribal community living in the fringe areas of Rajiv Gandhi National Park in Karnataka. The study was conducted across 3 Betta Kuruba haadis (settlements) in Mysuru district of Karnataka. A mixed methods research approach was adopted to gather quantitative and qualitative data from the study site. Primary data were gathered using standard techniques, namely observation, household survey schedule, and extensive semi-structured and open-ended interviews with key informants. The study found that the current top-down approach of the government is not bearing any fruit which is evident by the poor enrolment rates of tribal children in schools. The study suggests a region-based, grassroots approach to overcome the bottlenecks in the current education system in order to enable the Betta Kurubas to improve their socio-economic status and find better opportunities in the future.