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The Sustainable Livelihood Framework has identified social capital as one of the means upon which sustainable livelihoods are built. Hence an attempt was made in this study to determine whether mining improves the social capital of a local community in the primary mineral producing state of Odisha, India. A comparative approach utilizing various statistical techniques with mining and non-mining areas was used. It was found that mining is having a significantly adverse impact on the social capital of the mineral-rich region of Odisha in the preference for the nuclear family rather than the larger family size; social tensions due to massive unemployment, migration, or non-payment of compensation for land acquisition; a higher level of alcohol consumption; and, low workforce participation of women in mining villages than in non-mining villages. Even less involvement in associations and groups and weak social networks have been found among people in the mining region. Thus, mining activity in the region has deteriorated, instead of improving, the area's social capital. This depreciation raises the issue of mining as being a truly sustainable source of livelihood. This issue makes it necessary for the administrative machinery to design a strategy appropriate for augmentation of the social capital in India's mineral abundant regions.
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