Article

Effort to Protect Totos, the Smallest Tribe in the World.

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

5113 Background Toto is a primitive Indo-Bhutanese tribe residing in a small enclave called Totopara in the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal, India. Toto culture and language is totally unique to the tribe, and is clearly distinguished from the neighboring Rajbongshis, Koch or the Bhutanese Sharchop tribes. Totos use to do consanguineous marriage and stay in the same locality even after marriage. Totos are becoming extinct since 1950. Total population of Totos are 1377 (smallest tribe of the world) and it is declining day by day. We noticed that their life span is very short (35-40 years). With a motive to investigate the reason behind it we started our work and got the answers of our queries. Almost 50% of them are carrier of beta Thalassemia, which is a genetic disease and are caused by the mutation of beta globin gene. The objectives of our study are, Materials & Methods After awareness program, 3-4 ml of blood sample was collected from each Toto along with their written consent. On the spot inexpensive NESTROF (Naked Eye Single Tube Red Cell Osmotic Fragility) test was done. After returning to institute we use to do CBC (Complete Blood Count) followed by HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography). DNA was isolated from those samples detected as carrier or patients using the protocol standardized in our lab. Mutation was detected by ARMS (Amplification Refractory Mutation System)–PCR. Conclusion Total individual already screened in the Totopara under the age limit 10- 35 years is 688. Number of Totos and Non-Totos are 628 and 60 respectively. From NESTROFT and CBC result it was revealed that different blood parameters e.g., MCV, MCH, RBC, RDW, Hb% etc of 71% Totos do not match with the normal value and found to be significantly altered. HPLC results show that 51% Totos are carrier of HbE and 20% of them are HbE homozygous. Whereas 97% non-Totos are found to be normal. DNA analysis by ARMS-PCR confirmed the result of HPLC. The percentage of HbE carrier and HbE homozygous is very high among Totos and this is the real cause of their early death. To protect this primitive tribe we have to restrict their marriage between two carriers. For Totos thalassemia carrier detection should be mandatory before marriage. Disclosures No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... According to anthropologists, the Toto's language and culture are very unique and totally distinguished from the neighbouring tribes like Koch and Bhutanese Sharchop (Singh, 2014). Totos live in an elevated bamboo huts, identifying themselves as Hindu and practice kindred marriage, whereby they stay in the same neighborhood even after the marriage (Basak et al. 2009). They worship nature like river, canal, animal, forest, Kholanala (Khola-river, Nala-small canal) and their pghosallace of worship is called as Gohati (Gupta, 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
As the saying goes “culture doesn't make people, it is the people who make culture”. The are several tribes living in India and are trying to preserve their rich cultural heritage. Toto is an aboriginal Indo-Bhutanese tribe found in some parts of Alipurduar district in North Bengal. Unique to their culture is the idea of having only single wife and strongly advocate anti-dowry system unlike neighbouring tribal practices. As per the reports they are recognized as the smallest tribe on the Earth and are on the verge of complete extinction. Various cultural transformation and other developmental activities around the region is leading to declining Toto’s population, which is further aggravated by Thalassemia virus, which is one of the silent killers of the tribe. It is alarming that an average lifespan of Toto's has suddenly declined to 35 years over the years. The basic objective of the study is to identify reasons beneath transformations of traditional livelihood and sudden decline of Toto tribe. Based on different research, global understandings and valuable readings, what instrumental steps can be taken to preserve and protect them. Primary survey and secondary data sources have been used for the data collection. A household survey was executed with the help of snowball sampling in December 2018 at Totopara in Madarihat block of Alipurduar district, West Bengal. Remedial and descriptive methods and qualitative techniques have been used for analysis of data. After the analysis, it was concluded that increasing the education and awareness level through workshops, documentaries, camps, public meetings, discussions, discourse, rallies, seminars and cultural programs would play an instrumental role to put a cap on the declining population of the locals and would lead to their sustainable growth and development. Keywords Culture-Aboriginal- Extinction- Thalassemia-Sustainable Growth.
... According to anthropologists, the Toto's language and culture are very unique and totally distinguished from the neighbouring tribes like Koch and Bhutanese Sharchop (Singh, 2014). Totos live in an elevated bamboo huts, identifying themselves as Hindu and practice kindred marriage, whereby they stay in the same neighborhood even after the marriage (Basak et al. 2009). They worship nature like river, canal, animal, forest, Kholanala (Khola-river, Nala-small canal) and their pghosallace of worship is called as Gohati (Gupta, 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
As the saying goes “culture doesn't make people, it is the people who make culture”. The are several tribes living in India and are trying to preserve their rich cultural heritage. Toto is an aboriginal Indo-Bhutanese tribe found in some parts of Alipurduar district in North Bengal. Unique to their culture is the idea of having only single wife and strongly advocate anti-dowry system unlike neighbouring tribal practices. As per the reports they are recognized as the smallest tribe on the Earth and are on the verge of complete extinction. Various cultural transformation and other developmental activities around the region is leading to declining Toto’s population, which is further aggravated by Thalassemia virus, which is one of the silent killers of the tribe. It is alarming that an average lifespan of Toto's has suddenly declined to 35 years over the years. The basic objective of the study is to identify reasons beneath transformations of traditional livelihood and sudden decline of Toto tribe. Based on different research, global understandings and valuable readings, what instrumental steps can be taken to preserve and protect them. Primary survey and secondary data sources have been used for the data collection. A household survey was executed with the help of snowball sampling in December 2018 at Totopara in Madarihaat block of Alipurduar district, West Bengal. Remedial and descriptive methods and qualitative techniques have been used for analysis of data. After the analysis, it was concluded that increasing the education and awareness level through workshops, documentaries, camps, public meetings, discussions, discourse, rallies, seminars and cultural programs would play an instrumental role to put a cap on the declining population of the locals and would lead to their sustainable growth and development. Keywords Culture-Aboriginal- Extinction- Thalassemia-Sustainable Growth
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.