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 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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“In Port Blair itself, some years ago, the son of Jirake, the king of the Great Andamanese, had been found begging. [T]he state and its tribal department had allowed the worst of our society – paan, tobacco, liquor and now, COVID-19 – to reach these endangered communities. Newer threats, like a transhipment port at Great Nicobar, emerged.” – M. Rajshekhar in “Remembering Samir Acharya, Who Fought to Preserve the Cultures of Andaman and Nicobar” (The Wire, 18 October 2020)
https://thewire.in/rights/samir-acharya-andaman-nicobar-activist-culture-preservation-tribute
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=7364

“[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

“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

“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

“[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

“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://www.indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22410

“Many people – though not all – have been able to secure freedom from torture, unjustified imprisonment, summary execution, enforced disappearance, persecution and unjust discrimination, as well as fair access to education, economic opportunities, and adequate resources and health-care.” – Introduction to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations), p.vi
https://www.un.org/en/udhrbook/pdf/udhr_booklet_en_web.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=25720

“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 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

“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

“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

“A quick survey of edible plant foods in some villages in Bastar yielded a list of more than 300 species. However, those that were regularly eaten were far fewer, many species having slipped out of traditional diets as ‘there was not enough time””. – Madhu Ramnath in “Within the world of food collection” (india-seminar.com, Contested Cultures, February 2018)
www.india-seminar.com/2018/702/702_madhu_ramnath.htm
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=24941

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

Eco-spirituality in the face of climate change: Learning from the Kaani (Kani) community of Kanyakumari District – Tamil Nadu & Kerala

ECO-SPIRITUALITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE WITH REFERENCE TO THE KAANI TRIBE OF KANYAKUMARI FORESTS Davidson Sargunam (Nagercoil) & S Suja (Associate Professor, Women’s Christian College, College Road, Chennai) ABSTRACT The Kaani tribal people live in 48 Tribal Settlements in the deep … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Commentary, Cultural heritage, Customs, De- and re-tribalisation, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Ethnobotany & ethnomedicine, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Globalization, Health and nutrition, Homes and utensils, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Sacred grove, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Trees, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on Eco-spirituality in the face of climate change: Learning from the Kaani (Kani) community of Kanyakumari District – Tamil Nadu & Kerala

Reserves that are central to the ecological security of a unique group of islands: Tribal rights and conservation – Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The entire Nicobar islands is a tribal reserve and is key for the survival of a number of species of rare and endemic flora and fauna. Unlike the rest of India, tribal rights and conservation are not at the opposite … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adverse inclusion, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Anthropology, Biodiversity, Colonial policies, Constitution and Supreme Court, Crocodile, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Tourism, Tribal identity | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Reserves that are central to the ecological security of a unique group of islands: Tribal rights and conservation – Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Tip | A plethora of cultural strengths that can be fruitfully utilised in educational initiatives: Report “Living World of the Adivasis of West Bengal: An Ethnographic Exploration” – West Bengal

Adivasis do not form a homogenous community. Achievements related to socio-economic well-being were found to vary across groups and places among the members of the same community. [some excerpts]* There exists—in both the public and academic domains—a wide knowledge gap … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adivasi / Adibasi, Anthropology, Childhood, Customs, Democracy, Economy and development, Education and literacy, FAQ, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, Health and nutrition, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Names and communities, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes, Organizations, Success story, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on Tip | A plethora of cultural strengths that can be fruitfully utilised in educational initiatives: Report “Living World of the Adivasis of West Bengal: An Ethnographic Exploration” – West Bengal

Indigenous peoples in the modern world: A call to end colonial misconceptions and racial stereotyping – National Museum of the American Indian

In the Washington Post [22 November 2017], Kevin Gover, director of the museum, deals with five popular misconceptions about Native America | Read the full story here>> Thanksgiving recalls for many people a meal between European colonists and indigenous Americans that we … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Assimilation, Biodiversity, Childhood, Colonial policies, Commentary, Constitution and Supreme Court, Cultural heritage, Customs, Democracy, Dress and ornaments, Economy and development, Figures, census and other statistics, Health and nutrition, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Museum collections - general, Names and communities, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Storytelling, Topics and issues, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity, Video resources - external | Comments Off on Indigenous peoples in the modern world: A call to end colonial misconceptions and racial stereotyping – National Museum of the American Indian

“Tribal development so far is mechanical, ineffectual, and vague”: An Anthropological Dialogue on Tribal Development Strategies in India

The concept of development has different connotations in different contexts. In a narrow sense, ‘it means, change, and progress, either whole or, partial’. There are people with difference of opinion regarding development. […] In 1951, the government of Indiahad started … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Literature and bibliographies, Names and communities, Nilgiri Biosphere, Quotes, Rural poverty, Women | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on “Tribal development so far is mechanical, ineffectual, and vague”: An Anthropological Dialogue on Tribal Development Strategies in India