The Kutch, or Gujarat, earthquake on the 26th of January in 2001 left the district capital Bhuj and the most Western district of the State of Gujarat in India, Kutch or Kachchh, devastated. Yet, the earthquake recovery in Gujarat, is often popularised as a success story: an economic miracle and rebirth of Kachchh as a popular tourism destination, but also, a model for Indian, and international, disaster management architecture.
This research combines analysis of humanitarian aid, urban ethnography and life historical perspectives in the city of Bhuj. It focuses on how one of the temporary relocation sites has both reiterated and accelerated the existing pre-earthquake caste and socio-economic discrimination, inequalities and segregation.
The past twenty years have transformed the relocation site into a permanent displacement for some of its residents and it also offers low-threshold residencies for inter-state seasonal labourers and migrants from drought-affected areas of Kachchh searching better lives in Bhuj. The research asks how residents and their families manage and make sense of their everyday lives in the post-disaster city, and the changing society and political ecology around them.