As part of the all-India project the ethnographic survey of Daman and Diu was taken up for the first time. Twenty-eight communities were identified and studied. Daman, one of the three Portuguese possessions on South Gujarat coastal strips, formed part of the country known as Lata which was one of the seven divisions of the Aparanta or Konkan Vishaya between second century B. C. to thirteenth century A. D. Diu, another Portuguese possession described as part of Saurashtra coastal belt, has been well known since Pauranic period as Jalandhar Kshetra and Mani Nagar which was under Yadavas lead by Krishna Vasudeva. It was known as one of the best sea-ports and naval base from 14th to 16th century A. D. The Portuguese rule of about 450 years apart, Daman and Diu has been part of Gujarat. The two territories were noted for their weaving, dyeing and trade with the Middle East countries. Both Daman and Diu enjoyed a significant position for their docks, ship-building yards and trade of cotton fabrics, opium and the unique art of turtle-shell craft developed during Portuguese regime. The communities studied under the project, include the fisherfolk, tribals, peasants, traders, weavers, salt-makers and labourers.
Kumar Suresh Singh (1935–2006) was an IAS officer, who served as a Director General of the Anthropological Survey of India. He is well-known in academic circles for his compilation of the massive survey, People of India, which is a series with more than 40 volumes.
He wrote another pioneering book Famine in India in 1967. He said that famine and drought is usually man-made and its catastrophes are due to corruption. He was constantly transferred from one posting to another, till he was made Director General of the Anthropological Survey of India (ASI).
People of India, a monumental survey of the entire human surface of India, was launched in 1985 when Kumar Suresh was leading the Anthropological Survey of India (ASI). It was the first post-colonial survey of people in this part of the earth, and took more than seven years to complete. It sought to create a fair and unbiased anthropological profile of the communities living in India and to study the changes and impact of the development process in the post-1947 era. The project was gigantic and involved personnel not only working in the ASI, but also university scholars, social and political activists, tribal researchers as well as historians.