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

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Dangerous Motherhood

Despite recent improvements in the maternal health scenario in rural Assam, it remains the state with the highest number of maternal deaths in the country. Institutional delivery, antenatal care, and postnatal care have been actively promoted by the state to deal with the situation. However, state policies are still incongruously geared towards addressing the issue without taking sufficient note of the various sociocultural impediments in the way of institutional care.

Manipulation by Association

Much of India's nutrition agenda is being driven by the private sector through public-private partnerships and so-called multi-stakeholder dialogues. The new strategies of transnational corporations fall under the category of manipulation by association, where they establish their role and legitimacy by associating themselves with key institutions and people. A prime example of this is the influential 2013 series on maternal and child nutrition published by the Lancet. This comment analyses the issue and proposes some solutions.

Wealth and Health of Children in India

What are the relationships between wealth and children's health in India's states that are as populous as many other countries? Presenting a state-level analysis of the association between state net domestic product per capita and three children's health indicators, this paper describes how these relationships differ in the last two rounds of the National Family Health Survey. It finds evidence that the cross-sectional relationships between aggregate wealth and children's health indicators are positive, yet the association was less steep in the mid-2000s than in the late 1990s. It also finds a negative relationship between growth in SNDP per capita and improvement in state-level children's health indicators. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the kinds of investments which improve health may lead to economic growth, rather than vice versa.

Recent Shifts in Infant Mortality in India

The web version of this article corrects a few errors that appeared in the print edition. The pace of decline in infant mortality in India has quickened in recent years after the introduction of the National Rural Health Mission. However, the post-neonatal deaths have declined faster than the neonatal deaths despite the emphasis on preventing the latter in the health mission. Apart from a number of reasons, this is linked to the poor quality of the public health services in general, and the undernourishment and anaemia levels of pregnant women in particular.

Abortion Services and Providers' Perceptions: Gender Dimensions

This paper explores the gender dimensions of abortion-service providers' perceptions of women who access such care. A study in two districts of Maharashtra indicates that providers' responses to abortion situations are shaped largely by their attitude towards women, to women's health care and especially to abortion care. These attitudes in turn influence women's access to abortion and to the quality of service.

Everyday Life of the Subaltern

Rewriting the Language of Politics: Kisans in Colonial Bihar by Arun Kumar; Manohar, 2001; pp 234, Rs 475.

Work, Caste and Competing Masculinities

Notions and practices of masculinity are often reconfigured in the wake of rapid economic and socio-political transformation. This paper explores this aspect in a south Indian village across two dimensions. Changes in local economy have seen challenges posed to the long dominant position of the upper caste mudaliars based on their control on land, over the dalits. On the other hand, the entry of large numbers of women into the industrial work-force has played its part in modifying the relationship between caste, class and gender.

Perception and Prejudice

This paper presents a theoretical framework to analyse the impact of information and the epistemic reliability attached to this information, on the investment choices made by households when allocating scarce resources within the family. Excess female mortality in India has been attributed to the poor economic returns women generate in the labour market, as well as certain inherent cultural and religious beliefs, which prejudice female survival chances greater than those of males. The authors argue that it is this cultural and religious fabric in India that influences the way in which uncertainty about the outcome of investing in boys or girls is perceived. The result may be an over-reaction - in terms of investment - to positive information about male prospects, and vice versa, an under-reaction to positive information about female prospects, thereby exacerbating the survival differential between males and females. Policy-makers should not only increase the opportunities for females to contribute economically, but they should ensure that these policies are long-term in nature - and not politically motivated - and are well communicated.

Haryana's 'Setting Daughters'

In the flurry of celebrations observed to mark the 35th anniversary of Haryana's formation, what passed largely unnoticed was the state's abysmal performance in seeking to improve the quality of lives of its women, discrimination against whom continues unabated as seen in a widening sex ratio and widening gender gap in literacy.

From Gin Girls to Scavengers

In the beginning, the coal mining industry employed women from the adivasi and lower caste communities in various stages of production. Their role continued to be significant as long as technology remained labour-intensive and collieries were small and surface-bound. The expansion of the industry and increasing mechanisation saw a decline in women's participation. This paper based on research in the Raniganj coalbelt in eastern India describes how the work of resource extraction becomes gendered, the growing marginalisation of women, and their increasing alienation from access to environmental resources and their transformation into illegitimate and invisible beings.

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