Jirga and Dispensation of Social Welfare Services: A Case Study of Mohmand Tribal District, Pakistan
Keywords:Jirga, Informal Social Welfare, Social Protection, Marginalised Community, Persons with Disabilities, Vulnerable Segments
This paper examines Jirga's role in providing social welfare to marginalized (poor and orphans) and persons with disabilities in Tribal Districts of Pakistan. In Pakistan's tribal districts, due to lack of written laws and deficiencies in formal social welfare structure, Jirga has also got a contour of informal welfare institutions for rendering services to society's downtrodden poor, orphans, and persons with disabilities. This research uses a case study approach and engages qualitative methods for data collection and data analysis. A total of 23 qualitative in-depth individual interviews and focused group discussions are used, while data is analysed thematically. The study investigates "whether Jirga provides social protection to the poor, orphans, and persons with disabilities in selected case study." The findings reveal that due to absence of efficient and responsive formal social welfare system, vulnerable segments of tribal districts mostly depend on Jirga's indigenous welfare practices for their social protection. Jirga is cost-effective, sympathetic, inclusive, and cares for the needs of vulnerable segments in the selected case. However, Jirga's benevolent role and its efficiency have been somewhat affected by colonial legacies, militancy, etc. The welfare being provided to poor, orphans, and persons with disabilities by Jirga has also been significantly reduced.
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