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HEALTH ISSUES OF TRIBAL PEOPLE A SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY1

RESEARCH SYNOPSIS
Statement of research problem The research project will revolve around the question What is the health and nutritional
status of tribal people in India?
Health is a social aspect rather than an economic one. Understanding the societal customs,
traditions and beliefs that guide the economic activities of health seeking behaviours help us
in finding the factors that guides their health seeking behaviours. It helps us to understand the
significance of traditional methods of treatment in contemporary India.
Worldwide number of research studies conducted and continuously huge number of
Government and non government organizations focusing on bringing the facts on old age
living
arrangements, negligence and abuse to initiate new programmes and policies which can bring
greater results in wellbeing of the tribal people. But the programmes and policies are not
reaching the tribal population since there is no research studies on tribal situations who are
the most vulnerable groups in the society. The present study is to understand the health status
of tribal people of India.
Literature Review The main purpose of this review study is to get a comprehensive and broad knowledge of the
study on the tribal health issue which will surely help to pave a solid foundation for the
further construction of the chapters of the project. This review also will help the researcher to
get extensive understanding on the contributions of thoughts and ideas of the previous
scholars who studied on tribes in general and particularly on the health problems of tribal in
various states of India. Reviewing literature on Indian downtrodden groups, there are number
of studies on tribes and tribal culture, status of tribal women education, unemployment etc.
As the present research highlights tribal health problems, literature of the review with respect
to their health problems, numbers of studies have been focused on malnutrition, mortality
rate, child mortality rate, mental health, reproductive health and etc. With the social and
economical backwardness Indian tribal are found less aware about modern health care issue.
The present Review of Literature provides a thoughtful peep into the researches carried out
on tribal communities and the thoughts and findings of noted thinkers and sociologists who
1 SUDHANSHU GUPTA, SEM- V, SEC- B, ROLL NO- 477

have contemplated on their different social, health problems with different angles. The
literature review includes pre reviewed articles, relevant, books, articles from recognized
sources, review of the important researches, authors and their main findings.
Hassan K. A. (1967)
Hassan, in his research carried out in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh, finds out that health of
tribal people is related with habits, faith and values. Their health was related with behavior,
dietary habits, work and deficiencies there in.
Kuriyan J. (1982)
The findings of the committee record that more than 90 percent earning of these tribal
communities are spent on their routine needs. The most of the earning is spent on their food.
67 percent tribal people have calorie deficiency and 24 percent tribal people have protein
deficiency. Impure water caused different water borne diseases in tribal areas.
Ramlingaswami P (1987)
The researcher has studied the health of 372 women in tribal area of Andhra Pradesh. His
findings records only five women had received informal education. Their knowledge
regarding maternal care, child health, TB, Malaria, leprosy was scanty. Due to illiteracy tribal
women are unaware about health care.
Theoretical Framework The term tribe refers to a cultural and historical concept. It is used in terms of folk urban
continuum along which different groups are classified, given a certain order of material
culture and stage of technological growth and classified as tribes. According to Oxford
Dictionary tribe is a group of people in primitive or barbarous stage of development
acknowledging the authority of a chief and usually regarding themselves as having a common
ancestor.
The study will reflect upon the various aspects of diseases and health seeking behavior of
tribal population. It will develop a link among various factors like peoples need, sociocultural, economic and gender aspects.
It is well documented that, very few empirical studies have attempted to explain tribal health
systematically with appropriate use of theoretical perspectives (Mohindra & Labonte, 2010;
Maharatna, 2005).
The Person in Environment (PIE) perspective is well suited to accommodate the strong
interdependence between the tribal populations health and the surrounding physical and
social environment. This perspective also captures the linkage between problems of
individuals and macro level issues.

Relevance of Research Study The present study will bring out the various levels of health care practices in relation to social
environment among various tribal community India. It is primarily intended to study the
health of tribal society and their attitudes and practices at various stages towards various
health issues. The study area will revolve around the tribal health. Many tribes are not
practicing modern health care. The changing trend in health care practices of the tribals in the
study area is mixed in nature. They do not entirely depend on traditional medicine as well as
on modern medicine. In this study state briefly the primitive concept of disease and treatment
among the tribes to have a clear perspective of the changing trend of health care practices of
the tribals and factors responsible for these changes. Due to the poor perception levels of the
health care providers towards the Reproductive and child health (RCH) programme and also
due to the lack of proper motivation and other administrative problems they are unable to
scatter the services to the needy tribals and also failed to motivate the tribal people towards
modern health care services because of the deep rooted traditional belief systems of the
people.
Research Objectives The objectives of this research is presented as follows
1. To understand influence of traditional and cultural practices on health.
2. To find out the community perspective towards the causes of various diseases
prevalent in the study area.
3. To understand the health and health seeking behaviour among the tribals in the study
area.
4. To elicit data on availability, accessibility and affordability of health services.
5. To assess the impact of health and nutrition education on the knowledge, attitude and
practices of tribal people.
6. To assess the maternal and child health status, puberty and menstrual issues, prenatal
and postnatal care, awareness about prenatal and postnatal care and child nutrition of
tribal women.
7. To determine the cooking practices and foods of tribal people.
Research Hypothesis
1. The health status and development of tribal communities is a product of the interplay
of policies and programmes and implementation by local authorities with indigenous
socio-cultural practices and knowledge on health.
2. As many tribal people are less educated, they have less idea about the health

consciousness programme.
3. Most of the tribal people are suffering from disease due to the poverty.
Research Methodology
1) Population of study
A number of tribes including males and females residing in various locations will
be included in the study. Information regarding various diseases, their perceptions
on health facilities, their affordability and accessibility will be obtain through semi
structured questionnaires.
2) Research Design
The research design which will be followed for the present study is ex-post facto
and primarily descriptive in nature. This cross-sectional design will be use to
gather information from the tribes. In Ex-Post Facto Research- Descriptive Study
method will be adapted for collection of data from primary and secondary sources.
The design is a systematic empirical enquiry in which scientist has a direct control
on independent variables. The present study follows the need to understand
problems of tribals, through focus on development strategy used to improve status
and quality of life of tribals. It attempts for holistic development of tribes. Hence,
the research design adopted for the study is descriptive in nature. Here the
variables will be tribals, traditional herbal healers, doctors from whom the
information were collected
3) Sample size and sample design
Social science surveys involving large number of people and vast scattered area
have to be carried out on the basis of sampling procedure. Though total coverage
is a welcome effort, time factor and resources make it difficult to go in for study
of the entire population distributed over a wide area.
The present study is concentrated on the larger population. Hence, the stratified
random sampling method was chosen for this study. This sampling method was
appropriate to divide the population into different strata. A number of tribal people
will be selected for the study.
4) Method of data collection
The researcher will develop an interview schedule based on the priority
information that has to be collected to reach the generalization of facts pertaining
to the research. The data will be collected by the researcher directly from the
respondents and their family members, that is, the significant others of the

beneficiaries of Tribal Development schemes.


The finalized tools will be use for the collection of primary data. The data from
the selected respondents will be skill fully collected at the individual situations
and convenience in a free and frank manner. While interviewing the beneficiary
respondents, the researcher will have in mind the focus of the goal of the research.
Added to this, the interview schedule will be design to get comprehensive
information from the respondents which will take about 45 to 60 minutes for each
respondent due to requirement of careful attention and certain clarifications both
on the part of respondent and the investigator. All significant information have to
be recorded mostly by observation.
Proposed Chapterization Chapter I - highlight the distribution Tribal Population in India, origin of tribes, tribal
health status and empowerment.
Chapter II - review the literature related to the study in order to identify the gap in
literature.
Chapter III - deal with methodology of the study, inclusive of objectives, research
design.
Chapter IV - present the profile of study area and availability of public services in the
area.
Chapter V - analyse the socio economic and cultural status, cooking methods, gender
discrimination, health services, government programs and their nutritional
status.
Chapter VI highlight the major findings and suggestions for improving the nutritional
status of tribal people. Recommendations for the research in this area will
be also given in this chapter.
Reference 1. Mohindra, K. S., & Labonte, R. (2010). A systematic review of population health
interventions and scheduled tribes in India. BMC Public Health, 10 , 438-447.
Webography:
1. (http://tribal.gov.in) Ministry of Tribal Affairs, the National Tribal Policy.
2. (http://www.shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in) Health and Health Seeking Behaviour Among
the Tribals