Status of tribal girl child

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This article describes socioeconomic conditions for the girl child among tribals in India. India has the largest tribal population in the world: about 67.7 million in 1991. 1 in every 12 Indian women is a tribal woman. Tribal populations are distributed unevenly across India. 85% of the tribal population live in the central belt extending from Gujarat and Rajasthan to Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, and Bihar states to the east. There are 250 officially recognized tribal groups. Article 46 of the Constitution provides for special care in education and economic matters for scheduled tribes (STs) and for protection from social injustice and exploitation. In practice, STs are denied rights over resources, and their social governing systems are not recognized. Tribal girls do not have the same inheritance rights, except in matrilineal society. The incidence of child labor is very high. Girls are paid less than boys and are forced to stay home from school to care for younger siblings. Tribal girls are denied nutritious food and proper health care. Literacy among tribal women increased from 3.16% in 1961 to 18.19% in 1991. Male literacy increased from 13.04% to 32.5%. Girl children are enrolled in school but are withdrawn early. Lower female enrollment is attributed to lack of parental awareness, lack of institutional support, girls who are the eldest in the family, irrelevant school curricula, and teaching in a language different from the child's spoken language. During 1991-92, there were insufficient numbers of schools for girls. Tribal mothers have high rates of anemia, and girl children receive less than the desired nutritional level. Tribal girls suffer from inadequate food intake, hard work, and diseases. The community is also deficient in adequate food intake. Tribals have learned to live with minimum subsistence. Tribals need to be made aware of politics, economic opportunities, and how to achieve a higher quality of life.

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... None of these villages have electrification, sanitation or access to safe drinking waster facilities. Lack of access to health care facilities that resulting in the increased severity and dura-tion of illnesses, social barriers and taboos preventing them utilization of available healthcare services increase further vulnerability to specific endemic and communicable diseases (Dashora, 1995;Bara, 2004). Orissa Health Strategy (2003) identified several public health problems in tribal areas, which include malaria, sexually transmitted diseases, nutritional, and genetic deficiencies (Chhotray, 2003;Balgir, 2005). ...
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Of the 461 scheduled tribes in India, Orissa has declared 62 tribal communities and 13 as primitive tribal groups (PTG). Dongrias, a major sect of the great Kondh tribe, mostly stay on high hills known as Dongar. The Dongria Kondh is one of the officially designated PTG in Orissa. They are the original inhabitants of Niyamgiri hilly region which extends to Rayagada, Koraput and Kalahandi districts of south Orissa. The Dongria population is confined to three community development blocks namely Bissamcuttack and Munuguda of Gunpur sub-division and Kalyansinghpur Block of Rayagada sub-division. Dongria Kondhs have an estimated population of about 10,000 and are distributed in around 120 settlements, all at an altitude up to 5,000 feet above the sea-level. They speak a language, called the kuvi, which is of Dravidian linguistic ancestry that has no script. They are patrilineal and patriarchal; they have nuclear families, extended families, lineage and clans. Unlike other tribal groups of India, Dongria Kondhs are known for their deep knowledge and skill in horticulture. They largely rely on hunting, gathering and shifting cultivation in the Niyamgiri hills for survival. However, due to development interventions in education, medical facilities, irrigation, plantation and so on and so forth, they have started adapting to the great tradition or modern civilization standards in many ways. Their traditional life style, customary traits of economy political organization, norms, values and world view have been drastically changed over a long period of time. Their population is around 10000 spread over 120 villages with a sex ratio of 1352 females/ 1000 males. Literacy rate is less than 10%, particularly female literacy in only 3%. Dongria Kondh is an endogamous group and within them the clans are exogamous divided into several patrilineal clans forming socio-cultural territorial organizations. The health status is poor due to high level of poverty, poor environmental sanitation and hygiene, and increased morbidity from water-borne and vector-borne infections. Poor knowledge on availability and access to public health care facilities resulting in increased severity and duration of illnesses. Moreover, social barriers and taboos preventing utilization of healthcare services increase vulnerability to specific endemic and communicable diseases. Malnutrition is fairly common, especially young children and women debilitating their physical condition and lowering resistance to disease, leading at times even to behavioural impairment. More than 70% of households are protein-energy deficient with a wide range of seasonal variation. Protein-energy malnutrition is more common, 66%, 63% and 21% of in preschool children are underweight, stunting and wasting respectively indicating growth retardation. Malnourishment is seen in 60% of schoolage children and 50% of adolescents. Low body-mass index (BMI<18.5 kg/m2) reflected in 55% of adults shows chronic energy deficiency. Micronutrient deficiencies particularly iron, vitamin A and iodine are of public health significance. Iron deficiency anaemia is widespread problem among all the age groups. Iodine deficiency disorders are endemic in the Niyamgiri region with a high goitre rate and low urinary iodine excretion, while 10% of households are using iodized salt. There is certainly an urgent need to focus on this social isolate community in formulating specific programs and strengthening existing schemes to improve the health and nutritional status at par with mainland populations.
... When they must take inappropriately heavy responsibilities, adolescent caretakers might become psychologically stressed leading to behavioral problems (UNICEF, 2004). It may affect their development (Dashora, 1995; RabainJamin et al., 2003), education (UNICEF, 2004; Watson-Gegeo and Gegeo, 1989), and physical health (Hames and Draper, 2004; UNICEF, 2001). Yet little has been known about the negative effects of sibling care responsibility on school performance and mental health conditions of adolescent student caretakers, particularly in developing countries. ...
In many resource-poor countries, home-based care for young children is crucial. Yet little has been known about the negative impacts of sibling caretaking on mental health conditions of adolescent student caretakers. This study explored associations between sibling caretaking, school performance, and depression among 1943 students randomly selected from 11 junior high and high schools in Cambodia. The Asian Adolescent Depression Scale was used to measure depressive symptoms. In bivariate analyses, we used χ(2) test or Fisher's exact test for categorical variables and t-test or one-way analysis of variance for continuous variables. Multiple linear regression models were then constructed. Of total, 60.1% of our participants took care of their younger sibling(s) regularly during the past one year. The number of siblings under their care ranged from one to nine, and the time they spent for sibling care ranged from one to 10h per day. After adjustment, increased levels of depressive symptoms remained significantly associated among boys with sibling caretaking (p<0.001), as well as poor school performance (p=0.001) and perceived likelihood of dropping out of school in the near future (p=0.002). Among girls, increased levels of depressive symptoms retained their significant association with sibling caretaking (p<0.001); also poor school performance (p<0.001). Sibling care responsibility might have negative impact on school performance and the mental health condition of adolescent caretakers.
Universal access to primary education is one of the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) to be reached by 2015. India has made elementary and free child education to achieve the Universal Elementary Education. Constitution of India states that all children up to age 14 years have a fundamental right to free and compulsory education. Despite of several efforts, education for all have not achieved in India .Furthermore, low quality of school and a high dropout rate, as well as gender and rural-urban disparities remain the major challenges of India. Child's performance in school not only depends on the school quality or teacher's quality but also on the family environment where the child grew. The study has used IHDS-2005 data for all India rural States to analyse the factors responsible for child school enrollment and performance. We found that parent's educational status and family economic condition (household access to basic assets), parents survival are the important factors which are more likely to effect on the children education
The Rathwa of Kadipani village are adivasi (original inhabitants, tribe) residing in a rural part of Gujarat State, India. Primarily farmers, the Rathwa live in an area where development-related projects, such as mineral mining and damming on the Narmada River, are increasingly impacting their livelihood, health status, and quality of life. The local economy is impacted by uncertainty regarding access to water from the Narmada River, concerns related to the extraction of minerals from a mine in Kadipani, and economic issues that arise when the primary wage earner of the household becomes ill. This dissertation addresses Rathwa health care practices, relying primarily on social constructivism and a political economy framework. I also discuss feminist theory when I analyze women, health care, and spirituality, and modernization theory when I consider the impact of development on health. This study examines the intersection of ethnomedical health care practices (e.g., indigenous/folk medicine/faith healing, Ayurveda and homeopathy) with biomedical/allopathic health care practices. The pluralistic health care system available to the Rathwa in both Kadipani and Kawant villages offers services from private and public sectors, resulting in individuals and families in search of treatment frequently accessing multiple health care providers of both the ethnomedical and/or biomedical categories simultaneously. Treatments for illness may include a visit to a Bhoua (faith healer), a public clinic provided by the government, and home remedies prepared from locally available medicinal plants. This junction of ethnomedical and biomedical health care practices impacts family health care seeking behavior and decision making in a number of ways. With a variety of health care providers available, people will go from one provider to the next until they receive the treatment they are requesting (e.g., antibiotics, injections, etc.), or their symptoms dissipate and they are healed. This practice may result in conflict with certain aspects of Rathwa history, tradition, and cultural practices, such as forgoing a visit to the indigenous healer, a practice which is considered part of Rathwa tradition, and going straight to the public clinic for prescription medications, or giving birth in the public hospital instead of using a traditional birth attendant at home.
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