Category Archives: Health and nutrition

“Tribal children have higher levels of undernutrition compared to children of socially economically advanced sections.” – Programme report on Tribal nutrition: “UNICEF’s efforts to support the tribal population, especially children who suffer from malnourishment”
https://www.unicef.org/india/what-we-do/tribal-nutrition
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11674

“The nation’s ‘primary conservers’ – often tribal farmers – are now seen as ‘guardians of biological diversity’ and therefore entitled to protection under the law known as Biodiversity Act.” – Video message by scientist M.S. Swaminathan whose research foundation (MSSRF) was founded with proceeds from the First World Food Prize (1987) and remains committed to the livelihoods of rural communities.
https://www.mssrf.org
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11066

“In addition to rice, North East India is also home to the cultivated species of bananas known by their genus name, Musa.” – Dhrijyoti Kalita reviewing Prehistory and Archaeology of Northeast India by Manjil Hazarika (Scroll.in, 3 March 2019)
https://scroll.in/article/915071/this-essential-book-on-the-prehistory-of-no
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=45657

“Farmers on the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border have been sending organic produce to Bengaluru even during the lockdown [2020].” – Ashish Kothari, Kalpavriksh (Pune-based NGO)
https://www.thehindu.com/society/what-does-self-reliance-really-mean-amazing-stories-emerge-from-indias-villages/article31756580.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=34172

“India’s worrying ranking in the Global Hunger Index: 101 out 116 (and behind Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan).” – Nissim Mannathukkaren (Dalhousie University) in “How Hindu Nationalism Enables India’s Slide Into Inequality” (The Wire, 28 December 2021)
https://m.thewire.in/article/communalism/how-hindu-nationalism-enabled-indias-slide-into-inequality
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=5547

“[T]he terrible neglect in public delivery of healthcare must not be allowed to continue.” – Brochure for the report titled “Living World of the Adivasis of West Bengal: An Ethnographic Exploration”, issued on the occasion of the Kolkata International Book Fair 2020
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=31882

“Despite South Asia’s promising social inclusion processes, staggering social and health inequalities leave indigenous populations largely excluded. Marginalization in the South Asian polity, unequal power relations, and poor policy responses deter Adivasi populations’ rights and opportunities for health gains and dignity. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is likely to result in a disproportionate share of infections and deaths among the Adivasis, given poor social conditions and exclusions.” – Chundankuzhiyil Ulahannan Thresia, Prashanth Nuggehalli Srinivas, Katia Sarla Mohindra, Chettiparambil Kumaran Jagadeesan in “The Health of Indigenous Populations in South Asia: A Critical Review in a Critical Time” (free access in SAGE Journals, August 2020)
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0020731420946588
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=27829

“The tribal food basket has always been ­diverse and nutritious, including maize, minor millets like kodo and kutki, oil seeds like ramtila, along with fruits, leaves, ­rhizomes, mushrooms, meat and fish […] We have pushed them out of their complementary relationship with ecology, way of life and time-tested nutrition.” – Nutrition expert Bal quoted in “Rage Of A Silent, Invisible Killer Called Malnutrition – Why Shining India Is In Grip Of An Epic Calamity” (Outlook Magazine, 14 August 2019)
https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/india-news-rage-of-a-silent-invisible-killer-called-malnutrition-why-shining-india-is-in-grip-of-an-epic-calamity/302037
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=30029

“[W]e don’t die like we used to before” and “we are not afraid like we used to be before.” – Dr Shylaja Devi quoting members of Gudalur’s Adivasi communities on the biggest difference Ashwini has made to their lives in “The wealth of wellness” (Tata Trusts, 3 June 2012)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=6406

“Adivasis are extremely knowledgeable about the tubers, berries, leafy greens and mushrooms which they collect. […] They would also fish and hunt small animals for food throughout the year. Most homes would have some meat drying above the cooking fires for a rainy day.” – Mari Marcel Thekaekara quoted by Priti David in “In the Nilgiris, an inheritance of malnutrition” (People’s Archive of Rural India, 1 May 2020)
https://ruralindiaonline.org/en/articles/in-the-nilgiris-an-inheritance-of-malnutrition/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=5547

“India’s healthcare spending, including both private and public, has been around 3.6% of GDP for the past six years [with] fewer than 10 doctors per 10,000 people, and in some states the figure is less than five.” – Vikas Pandey in “Coronavirus: How India descended into Covid-19 chaos” (BBC News. 5 May 2021)
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-56977653
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=34679

“It was assumed that tribal people have same health problems, similar needs and hence the uniform national pattern of rural health care would be applicable to them as well, albeit with some alteration in population: provider ratio. The different terrain and environment in which they live, different social systems, different culture and hence different health care needs were not addressed. Not surprisingly health and healthcare in tribal areas remained unsolved problems.” – Preface by Abhay Bang, Chairman, Expert Committee on Tribal health “Tribal Health in India: Bridging the Gap and a Roadmap for the Future” (Report of the Expert Committee on Tribal Health, undated)
https://www.nhm.gov.in/nhm_components/tribal_report/Executive_Summary.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=36758

“The adivasis pity the Dilliwallahs. They find us under-nourished, anorexic and weak. They think it is an urban disease to believe that money can buy everything. They also pity us for being addicted to our computers and mobile phones.” – Nandan Saxena (co-director of National Award-winning documentary “I Cannot Give You My Forest”) quoted by S. Ravi (The Hindu, April 24, 2015)
https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/on-national-award-winning-documentary-i-cannot-give-you-my-forest/article7137681.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=17768

“Adivasi communities traditionally depended on the forest for all their nutritional needs. They subsisted mainly on fruits, vegetables, tubers, fish, small game as well as the occasional crop they grew, predominantly coarse grains. However, as time passed and the nature of, as well as their access to, forests changed, their diet started becoming deficient. Certain tribes, such as Paniyas, forced into bonded labour saw a paradigm shift in their dietary practices due to their dependence on their exploiters for their sustenance needs. This deficiency started manifesting in the form of rampant malnutrition, among adults and children alike, underweight babies as well as high maternal mortality. Another consequence was increased susceptibility to Tuberculosis among the Adivasis.” – Blog post “Gardening their way to Good Health” by ACCORD – Action for Community Organisation, Rehabilitation and Development
https://www.accordweb.in/?p=4840
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=36391

“As more people migrate to cities and towns in search of better employment and education opportunities, one tends to take up food habits that are convenient and less time-consuming. […] Sadly, this is the story of most villages in India that have bid adieu to not just its people but its age-old regional cuisines that were high on nutritional values too.” – S. Lekshmi Priya on a campaign by two women – illustrator Tanya Kotnala and nutritionist Tanya Singh – to revive the local art and culture of Uttarakhand in “With Art and Science, Two Women Are Reviving Uttarakhand’s Nutritional Delicacies” (7 September 2017)
https://www.thebetterindia.com/114669/uttarakhands-nutritional-delicacies-revived-through-art-bhuli/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=25814

“Dams, irrigation and factory farms are linked to 25% of infectious diseases in humans. Travel, transport and food supply chains have erased borders and distances. Climate change has contributed to the spread of pathogens. […] To prevent future outbreaks, we must become much more deliberate about protecting our natural environment.” – Inger Andersen (Under-secretary general and executive director of the UN Environment Programme) quoted in “Coronavirus: Fear over rise in animal-to-human diseases” (BBC News, 6 July 2020)
https://www.bbc.com/news/health-53314432
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22575

“The eco fragile region calls for a more sustainable path. Unfortunately, most of the large dams don’t have disaster management plans in place. According to the Central Water Commission, there are 5,334 large dams in India besides 411 under construction. A report of the Auditor General in 2017 found that only 349 of these dams had disaster management plans in place. Indeed a matter of grave concern!” – Charanjit Ahuja in “Was the Uttarakhand tragedy waiting to happen?” (Tehelka, 15 February 2021)
http://tehelka.com/was-the-uttarakhand-tragedy-waiting-to-happen/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=6068

“And when all of a sudden all these non-urban communities couldn’t feed themselves, how would that create a crisis? It’s a crucial part of the puzzle to make sure that those community remain as sustainable as they can and continue feeding themselves.” – Rick Knecht (University of Aberdeen) in “Green Thinking: Climate Justice” (BBC Radio 3 Arts & Ideas, 10 November 2021)
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0b3fdzq
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=16267

“Traditional farming systems in India have received a major boost at a time when Indian agriculture is struggling to come to terms with modern technologies. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has accorded the status of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) to the traditional agricultural system being practiced in Koraput region of Odisha.” – “Jyotika Sood in “UN heritage status for Odisha’s Koraput farming system” (Down To Earth, 4 January 2012)
https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/un-heritage-status-for-odishas-koraput-farming-system–35627
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=16267

“Who, if anyone, is excluded—or adversely included—from equitable access to public goods […] resulting in intense dispossession, sexual and economic exploitation, alarming health and nutrition declines as well as precarious survival. […] The picture that emerges from the report is in many ways grim and troubling.” – “The India Exclusion Report 2015: A comprehensive, annually updated analysis on the exclusion of disadvantaged groups in India” (First Edition, New Delhi 2016, www.yodapress.co.in, supported by UNICEF, UNFPA and UN Women)
https://www.im4change.org/docs/91763text-final_India-Exclusion-Report-round2Final.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22410

“Health spending by the Indian government as percentage of GDP has long been one of the lowest for any major country, and the public health system is chronically dismal.” – Pranab Bardhan in “The two largest democracies in the world are the sickest now” (scroll.in, 24 August 2020)
https://scroll.in/article/971086/the-two-largest-democracies-in-the-world-are-the-sickest-now
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=13755

“The per capita consumption of alcohol for India is 4 litres […] Alcohol related diseases are growing leading to high occupancy of hospital beds in hospitals.” – Human Development Report 2005 Kerala, Government of Kerala (2006), pp. 57-61
https://niti.gov.in/planningcommission.gov.in/docs/plans/stateplan/sdr_pdf/shdr_kerala05.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=6045

Jackfruit and indigenous knowledge: The Kaani tribal community of Kanyakumari forests – Tamil Nadu

RELEVANCE OF INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICES RELATED TO JACKFRUIT, WITH REFERENCE TO THE KAANI INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF KANYAKUMARI FORESTS Photos and text by the late Davidson Sargunam (Environmental Educator, Nagercoil, Kanyakumari District) Abstract: The Kaani tribal community resides in 48 … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Community facilities, Customs, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Ethnobotany & ethnomedicine, Figures, census and other statistics, Health and nutrition, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG), Photos and slideshows, Quotes, Resources, Revival of traditions, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Success story, Trees, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on Jackfruit and indigenous knowledge: The Kaani tribal community of Kanyakumari forests – Tamil Nadu

Indira Gandhi National Tribal University Amarkantak – Madhya Pradesh

The tribal people are rich in cultural heritage and skill of art and craft but they are still marginalized in respect to higher education as well as in other walks of life. Now in the present age of globalization the … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Central region – Central Zonal Council, Crafts and visual arts, Customs, Democracy, eBook eJournal ePaper, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Ethnobotany & ethnomedicine, Figures, census and other statistics, Globalization, Government of India, Health and nutrition, Modernity, Narmada, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Rural poverty, Tribal identity, Women | Comments Off on Indira Gandhi National Tribal University Amarkantak – Madhya Pradesh

Ethnomedicinal plants to cure skin diseases, poison bites, wounds and rheumatism: Traditional knowledge of Kaani tribals in the Tirunelveli hills (Kanyakumari) – Tamil Nadu

Costus speciosus (J. Koenig) Sm. (Costaceae) has long been considered an important medicinal plant in the Indian sub-continent and other countries of the world. The plant has been reported to have a wide array of ethnomedicinal uses [see Table 1: Ethnomedicinal uses]. … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Customs, eBook eJournal ePaper, Ethnobotany & ethnomedicine, Figures, census and other statistics, Health and nutrition, History, Literature and bibliographies, Names and communities, Networking, Quotes, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology | Tagged | Comments Off on Ethnomedicinal plants to cure skin diseases, poison bites, wounds and rheumatism: Traditional knowledge of Kaani tribals in the Tirunelveli hills (Kanyakumari) – Tamil Nadu

Giving Irula healing practices a place in modern medicine: A new source of livelihood for “one among the six oldest Adivasi tribes” – Puducherry & Tamil Nadu

The term Irula means being capable of finding one’s path in dark forests, according to an Irula myth | Read the full report in the Times of India here >> Born in nature’s lap, Irulas share a symbiotic relationship with Mother Earth. They … Continue reading

Posted in Community facilities, Customs, Eco tourism, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Ethnobotany & ethnomedicine, Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Misconceptions, Names and communities, Networking, Organizations, Press snippets, Revival of traditions, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Social conventions, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Success story, Tribal identity, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Giving Irula healing practices a place in modern medicine: A new source of livelihood for “one among the six oldest Adivasi tribes” – Puducherry & Tamil Nadu

“Irulas are very knowledgeable about medicinal plants” : Interview with Zai Whitaker, Director of the Irula Tribal Women’s Welfare Society – Tamil Nadu

The ITWWS is a women’s community-based development organization established in 1986. It was founded with the aim of protecting natural resources, empowering Irula women and using the Irula tribal knowledge of forest resources for economic prosperity. The organization started with … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Biodiversity, Childhood and children, Community facilities, Eco tourism, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Health and nutrition, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Rural poverty, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Success story, Trees, Websites by tribal communities, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on “Irulas are very knowledgeable about medicinal plants” : Interview with Zai Whitaker, Director of the Irula Tribal Women’s Welfare Society – Tamil Nadu