‘Punerjeevanam’ and Livelihood Transition among Muthuvans in Marayur, Kerala

The shifting cultivation-based food system is considered one of the eight potential enablers for the United Nations 2030 Agenda (Choudhury, 2021). The communities practicing shifting cultivation are largely indigenous peoples whose livelihoods are in transition. This study examines a public extension intervention initiated by the State Forest Department to promote traditional food practices among the Muthuvans, an Adivasi/indigenous population in Marayur, Idukki. The community is located in the Western Ghats of India, a biodiversity hotspot. The narrative of Punerjeevanam, the aforementioned project, is problematic when it comes to depicting the changing livelihood of the Muthuvan community. The data is collected through a patchwork ethnography (Guenel et al., 2020) due to limited access to the community and the COVID-19 situation. The study calls for the indigenous communities to be informed about their rights to the resources, which is a prerequisite for any development activities.