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Topic– Part of static series under the heading – “Issues related to health”
6) Tribal communities lag behind the general population on most health parameters. Critically Examine.(250 words)
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to find out the reasons as to why the tribal population of India fares poor in most of the health parameters and then form a concluding and substantive opinion on the issue.
Critically examine -Here we have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. Based on our discussion we have to form a concluding opinion on the issue.Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the tribal communities in India, their proportion in the population and the environmental conditions in which they live.
Mention that health is an interplay of a number of social, political, cultural, environmental and genetic factors; Access to healthcare depends on a number of factors of which female literacy is an important determinant — it is instrumental in shaping a group’s healthcare seeking behaviour. According to the 2011 Census, the female literacy of Scheduled Tribes is 56.5 per cent; this is almost 10 per cent below the national rate and is one reason for tribal groups doing poorly on health parameters. Financial insecurity is another major cause of the ill-health of tribal people; The poor health of an ethnic group is very often a result of the exclusion of that group from a country’s national imagination; Exclusion and marginalisation of a group leads to poverty, which in turn makes people from such groups vulnerable to diseases. This holds true for India’s Scheduled Tribes as well; Moreover, some Scheduled Tribe communities are known to be vulnerable to specific diseases — people of Odisha’s Gond tribe, for example, are susceptible to sickle cell disease etc.
Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. E.g Improving the health of Scheduled Tribes requires a multi-pronged approach. However, honest attempts at inclusion — politically, administratively and socially — should be behind all such endeavours. Measures to tackle group specific health issues and capacity building of a group in terms of improving their education and literacy, would go a long way in promoting their health.