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

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Malnutrition among Tribals


This is with reference to the article, “Food Insecurity and Malnutrition among Santhal Children in Jharkhand” by Manjari Sinha (EPW, 15 September 2018). The proverbial visitors from Mars may wonder why malnutrition among tribal communities in India has reached horrifying proportions, and why these communities have such extraordinarily large numbers of stunted children even after inhabiting forest areas which are rich in natural foods, and despite constitutional protection.

After analysing the National Census Report 2001, National Health Survey 2005–06 and other related data, Nobel Laureate in Economics, Angus Deaton concluded that the average height of Indians has increased. Interestingly, at a time when the rest of India is witnessing an increase in height, tribal people are becoming shorter. This countrywide decrease in height among tribal communities has also been established. Also, the effects of disease-related malnutrition (DRM) continue throughout life, and recovery is not easy. Tribal malnutrition is indeed a hidden epidemic.

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Updated On : 19th Oct, 2018
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