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

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Disability during COVID-19

COVID-19 and the resultant lockdowns have severely curtailed the mobility of persons with disabilities, restricted their ability to seek basic necessities, healthcare, and assistance. Uncertainty on the disbursement of financial protection schemes meant for persons with disabilities have exacerbated their existing financial precarity. At this juncture, obstacles in accessing healthcare should be identified, facilities should be made affordable, and financial support should be exclusively planned for persons with disabilities to save them from the dreadful risk of the coronavirus and its aftermath.

Higher Disease Burden in India’s Elderly

The disease burden among the elderly population is significantly higher compared to the younger population, according to the data from the 75th round National Sample Survey, 2017–18, which increases their vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic. The footprint of elderly population in public facilities for inpatient and outpatient care has increased over the years. Financially, the elderly face far less burden in public facilities than in private facilities.

Migrant Workers and the Politics of Mental Health

The roping in of tertiary care mental health institutes by the government in providing individualised (tele) counselling services to migrant workers needs to be viewed with caution. Instead of acting as a catalyst in upholding the dignity and human rights of migrant daily wage workers who were left high and dry, mental health practice, shaped by political and institutional influences, provided “counselling” to lakhs of people who bore the brunt of governmental apathy during the pandemic crisis.

Social Security for Migrant Workers during COVID-19

The unprecedented public health crisis due to COVID-19 has thrown the vulnerability of migrant construction workers into sharp relief. Most of them are not enrolled in any social protection scheme, and those who are, have been only provided with contingencies. These measures are inadequate to address the multidimensional deprivations and fundamental causes of vulnerability arising due to globalisation and a changing labour market, which has been exacerbated by the current crisis.

Excluded in Rehabilitation

The experience of disability is explored within the growing impact of neo-liberal globalisation utilising an ethnographic approach. Findings indicate how its implicit “commodifying” impact on persons with disabilities aggravates their physical and psychological wounds by amplifying their identity as the “unproductive” or “less productive” other. A need for dialogical partnership, where the marginalised voices are acknowledged and listened to, is accentuated for meaningful participatory rehabilitation.

Dementia and the Challenges of Caregiving: A Personal Account

Dementia, an incurable and neurodegenerative brain disease, affects millions of elderly in India, and remains a hidden epidemic. However, little is being done by the government to enable individuals affected by the disease to live with dignity and respect in the society.

Non-communicable Diseases, Affluence, and Gender

Whether the burden of non-communicable diseases has shifted to older men and women, and whether it varies by marital status and affluence of the household has been examined. The analysis is based on the 60th and 71st rounds of the National Sample Survey for 2004 and 2014. Even though comparisons of prevalence and shares between men and women are relied on in the analysis, some glaring disparities emerge. The growing menace of NCDs in the context of a rapidly increasing older population calls for bold policy initiatives, which are currently either underfunded or limited in coverage and uncoordinated. A drastic overhaul of the health system and behavioural changes are thus emphasised.

Has Disability Risen among the Elderly in India?

An analysis of disability among the elderly and its covariates during the period 2005–12 is provided using data from the two rounds of the nationally representative India Human Development Survey, conducted in 2005 and 2012. The increase in life expectancy has not translated into a healthier life, as prevalence of disabilities, their severity, and their association with non-communicable diseases have risen. Given the lack of access to assistive devices, specialised medical services, rehabilitation, and stigma attached to disability, the temptation to offer simplistic but largely medical solutions must be resisted. Instead, a multidimensional strategy is needed that helps the elderly overcome physical and socio-economic barriers as well as address the issues related to prevention and treatment of their underlying health conditions.

Recognising Differently Abled as Minority

In June, Jews were given minority status in Maharashtra. I recall my class lectures in Jawaharlal Nehru University where I learnt that each one of us is a minority in some form or the other. This is because we carry multiple identities within ourselves at the same time. Though minorities are...

'Divine-bodied' Disabled

Access to education and the labour market is abysmal among India's disabled.

Killing Them Silently

Compensating workers dying of silicosis is an important legal breakthrough.

Biological Markers and the Health of Older Indians

Portable, user-friendly diagnostics have increased the use of biological markers in national health surveys. The 2010 pilot wave of the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India used a comprehensive biomarker module to measure more accurately the burden of health risks and morbidity among older Indians in four pilot states. This paper presents results from the biomarker data collected during the LASI pilot wave and compares them with self-reports. When compared with self-reports, biomarker data revealed a greater burden of health risks and a higher prevalence of chronic disease. By showing the systematic variations in health status between LASI's self-reported data and biomarker data, the paper highlights the value of using biomarkers to establish more reliable estimates of health in national surveys. The biomarkers studied include blood pressure measurements, grip strength, body mass index, and waist-to-hip ratio, all of which provide valuable insights into health trends affecting older adults.

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