Differential Fertility: A Study in Bishnupriya Manipuri

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Table 1.1 : Demographic Profile of Bishnupriya Manipuri,
Cachar District, Assam.

Population size
Male 958 (51.51%)
Female902 (48.49%)
Sex Ratio941 (female per thousand male)
Total no of household254
Average no of member per household7.32
Child Dependency Ratio34.10
Old Dependency Ratio.08
Total Dependency Ratio34.18
Crude birth rate32.79
Total fertility rate3.37
Average completed fertility per women3.57
General fertility rate105.90


Fertility : The actual reproductive performance, (Bhende and KanitKar, 2001) ; the actual occurrence of births, especially live births (Cox 1959) Is a true dependent genetic concept. Fertility, a major component of population growth occupies an important place in population study. Fertility though a biological phenomenon is often influenced by number of social, economic and cultural factors and as a result we come across fertility differentials from population to population. Fertility is regarded as an instrument for perpetuation of human society and one of the basic determinants of population growth. It is a matter of fact that every society replenishes it self with the help of fertility. But at the same time excessive replenishing results to population explosion. It now becomes a menace and despite several efforts to stabilize the population of our country, the population is increasing by leaps and bounds causing enormous vexed problems to the peaceful existence of human society and environment. India shares more than 17% of the world population in comparison to its land area of 2.4%.The population figure of India has already crossed one billion as evident from the absolute count, figuring to 1027 million souls according to the ever first gigantic decennial census of 2001 (Bose, 2001). Assam, being in one of the North Eastern States of India, facing an abnormal growth of population, is inhabited by a large number of identifiable and distinct ethnic groups, each of whom shows different level of fertility. Moreover, social and cultural traits, religious beliefs, customs, traditional economic pursuits as well as exposure to modernity and health care facilities differ from ethnic group- to- group and place-to-place. The Bishnupriya or Bishnupriya Manipuri is an Indo-Aryan language speaker. In Manipur the language is still spoken in Jiribam sub division. A large number of Bishnupriya Manipuri people settled in Assam decades ago particularly in the districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi. The Bishnupriyas here are regarded as one of the major groups of people in Cachar and Karimganj district of Assam. For decades controversy over use of word “Manipuri” by Bishnupriyas as suffix has embittered the relationship between Meiteis and Bishnupriyas. Since then due to constant intimidation from Meiteis counter part , the Bishnupriya Manipuris are now trying to reassert themselves and create a niche of their own in terms of population, language, culture.

The study area comprises of four clustered villages, which are inhabited by BishnupriyaManipuri.(Table 1.1 shows male and female %).Few kms away from Silchar taking the path of Chencoorie over looking G.C College Road One can easily approach the villages - Singari, Bhakatpur, Kalinagar, Rengti Bsati. The dominant group is Bishnupriya Manipuri. The population of the study areas is estimated to be around 25,156 (District Census 1991).

Singari : Study Village

Fig 1.1

Map Showing Assam With District Cachar and Village Singari.


In the present study, an attempt has been made to ascertain the fertility Performance of Bishnupriya Manipuri of Cachar District of Assam. An attempt has also been made to examine fertility differentials by some of their socio cultural factors. The Bishnupriya Manipuri people are ethnic groups that...
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