ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Sari Story

In a polarised climate, a person’s name and attire can make a big difference, including between life and death.

National Family Health Survey-4

The death of the four workers and injury to two others on 12 May 2015 in Karnataka brings to the forefront the harsh and unsafe working conditions under which the workers “contracted” under the private “Field Agency,” Vimarsh, worked and continue to work for the Fourth Round of the National Family Health Survey. The NFHS-4 is being conducted under the stewardship of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, with the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, serving as the nodal agency for field operations. There is an urgent need to set up an independent process for investigating labour violations as well as the quality of data collected through such contractual arrangements with private FAs in the ongoing NFHS-4.

With a Parent Like This

The story of "Bhopal" - of the 30 years of disaster - is not that of corporate crime alone but also that of the nexus between national governments and transnational corporations; of state and capital. And, irrespective of the government in power, the nature of the state has not changed.

The Bhopal Disaster and Medical Research

The Supreme Court, in its fi nal order of October 1991, upheld the compensation settlement with Union Carbide which made the Government of India liable for any shortfall in compensation or any new claims from the Bhopal gas victims. Following this order the Indian Council of Medical Research disbanded its medical esearch on the long-term medical effects of the disaster. A recent Supreme Court order directs the ICMR to resume that research, but the question that looms is why the ICMR abdicated its ethical mandate and allowed its subordination to a political diktat. Why did the ICMR as aninstitution allow itself to become an apologist of the Indian state?

Clinical Medicine Meets Social Sciences

Towards a Critical Medical Practice: Reflections on the Dilemmas of Medical Culture Today edited by Anand Zachariah, R Srivatsan and Susie Tharu (New Delhi: Orient BlackSwan), 2010; pp 392, Rs 495.

Public Report on Health

A bottom-up view of the health conditions and services in six states - three performing and three not-so-well performing ones - was arrived at through a study by a multidisciplinary team with varied experiences in health research. This paper presents the results of a Public Report on Health that was initiated in 2005 to understand public health issues for people from diverse backgrounds living in different region-specific contexts. The findings, which have policy implications, have been used to analyse the ongoing official attempts to deal with the various challenges thrown up by the National Rural Health Mission.

Reflections on Alma-Ata

Upon an examination of the development of health services in India, it is evident that the primary health care strategy was a logical outcome and justification for health policies that were (and are) antithetical to the principle of social justice. Thirty years down the line, the village health worker has metamorphosed into the Accredited Social Health Activist, but the health situation cannot be significantly improved without challenging the exploitative social structure.

Violence against Christians

We strongly condemn the inhuman violence inflicted by fundamentalist Hindu organisations against members of the Christian community, largely dalit and tribal, in Orissa and the violation of their places of worship since August 2008. While the killing of Swami Laxmanananda and his associates should...

More on Tsunami Relief

Authors of a report (April 19) on post-tsunami shelter and settlement strategy of the Tamil Nadu government respond to a rejoinder by C V Sankar (May 17), officer on special duty for relief and rehabilitation.

The Interesting Times We Live In

Public health issues are inextricably linked with human rights and it is only apt that many health professionals will involve themselves in such issues. The response of governments and the corporate sector to the work of such professionals suggests how they are seen as threats to the established order.

Post-Tsunami Housing in Tamil Nadu

The tsunami relief effort was based on the recognition that out of disaster an opportunity can be created to rebuild, expand and improve upon services, correct imbalances and meet the needs of vulnerable groups. But in housing, this case study from Tamil Nadu shows that even three years after the disaster, a large proportion of the affected continue to live in temporary shelters. Apart from analysing the post-tsunami shelter and settlement strategy of Tamil Nadu government, this article also deals with the critical issues in the construction of permanent houses.

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