Social Background of the Respondents                                    Page :31

 
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This chapter throws light on the social background of the respondents. The main focus of this chapter of this chapter is on the following points :
         (a) The age and the marital status of the respondents;
         (b) Education of the respondents;
         (c) Size of the family and income; and
         (d) The nature of the family.

Age Group and Marital Status of the Respondents
               The Mishings are monogamous. It has been mentioned in the earlier chapter that clan exogamy and tribal endogamy are practised by them. Both arranged marriage (Midang) and Gandharba vivaha (Dukla-lanam) are common among them.1 The latter marriage system is more popular than the former. Early marriage is preferred by the Mishings though some of the educated persons, now-a-days, prefer later marriage.2 Divorce, widower and widow re-marriage are allowed among them. In this respect, they must fulfil the norms of the Kebang (Village Council). Table 4.1 shows the age group and marital status of the respondents.
               It has been found that out of 335 respondents, 300 (89.57%) are married, 10 (2.98%) are unmarried, 16 (4.77%) are widows, 5 (1.49%) are divorced. Out of the 300 married respondents, 61 belong to the age group of 31-35, 24 respondents are within the age group of 46-50. All unmarried respondents (10) are within the age group of 30. The mean age of the respondents is 43 years. Within age group of 41 to 45, there are 16 (13.73%) respondents. Out of them, 34 are married, 8 are widows, 2 widowers and 2 are divorced. Out of the 335 respondents, 317 (94.63%) are male and 18 (5.37%) are female.
               Among the Mishings, generally the marriages are held after attaining maturity. As regards the opinion on the early marriage, the size of family and economic conditions, the following case studies throw sufficient light.
Case Study 4.1
             Name - Shri Ganesh Doley, age - 50 years, size of family -5, number of children -4, size of landholding - 49 bighas, annual income -Rs. 2,000.00, number of children going to school -1, Village - Mohmora.
            Shri Ganesh Doley revealed a number of points on marriage, economy and education of his family. He did not support early marriage of his children although it was the usual practice in the village. According to him, due to poor economic conditions he found it hard to educate his children. But it did not mean that they should get married at an early age. There is no need for a large family, now-a-days, as cultivable land is limited. His present land for cultivation is hardly sufficient to meet the requirements of his family members. Thnerefore, he does not prefer more members in his family.

Case Study 4.2
             Name - Shri Moheswar Narah, age - 52 years, size of family -14, number of children -8, size of landholding-16 bighas, annual income - Rs. 3,500, number of school going children-8, other source of income younger brothers are in government service and business.

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