Juang Dwellings vs. Modern Housing

H. N. Das

    The traditional house of Juang's has its interior space divided into three distinctive parts. Daala (store) is made up of a raised wooden platform for keeping grains and cereals. Ukusung (hearth) is placed at the other end of the interior space, opposite to the Daala (store). in between Daala and Ukusung, lies the space, called Kelang to be used for drying and husking the paddy and for members of the house to sleep.

    The typical Juang villages are compact settlements. In the center of the village stands Majang (bachelors' dormitory) around which the cluster of houses for undivided families are built on 100 to 130 square feet of the land. The walls of the houses are made up of wooden pillars placed vertically closed to each other with the mixture of cow dung and mud used as plaster. The house has attached roof, where the wild grass and dried paddy stalks and bamboo reeds are used. Each married couple owns for itself a house while the group of children, guests and relatives take shelter in Majang. Pigs and goats are kept in sheds made of wooden planks.

    Attempts to shift the Juangs away from their traditional houses have not been successful. The Juangs have been found to have abandoned the government sponsored houses, which were constructed under Indira Awas Yojana, as such houses are found to be unsafe for living. The failure of such government projects to provide dwellings to the Juangs is due to lack of proper design concept, that should have gone  with the building material and traditional skill . Further, as the community participation in the process of design and implementation is ignored, the failure of the project is inevitable. Such government sponsored  dwelling units were erected on the ground without proper foundation with random rubble masonry walls and galvanized iron sheet roofing.