A Study of Health Problems of Tribal Women of Deori Taluka (Age Group 15 -45 years)


Dr. Kshama D. Chavhan

HoD, Dept. of Home- Economics, Mahila Mahavidyalaya Nandanvan, Nagpur

*Corresponding Author Email: kshamadchavhan@gmail. com



Health is the level of functional and or metabolic efficiency of an organism at both the Micro (Cellular) and macro (social) level. In the Medical field health is commonly defined as an organism’s ability to efficiently respond to challenges (stressors) and effectively restore and sustain a state of balance’, known as homeostasis.

Another widely accepted definition of health is that of the World Health Organisation (WHO) which states that “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” In more recent years, this statement has been modified to include the ability to lead a socially and economically productive life.


KEYWORDS: Health, Women, Tribal, population, Nutritional, Economics, illiteracy.




Tribals have their own culture and social life. With traditions they have thrir general beliefs. There are around 635 schedule tribes in India. They are situated all over India Even though they have rich culture, they are socio economically dis-advantage and marginalized. The schedule tribe population in Maharashtra is 73.18 laks i.e. 9 % of the total population of the state. There are 47 tribes in Maharashtra, main tribes being Bhils, Gonds, Mahadeo Kolis, Pawaras, Thakurs, Warlis, Halbi and Pradhan etc.


Tribal Women –

Among tribes the population is almost equal of men and women enjoy an equal status is most tribal groups. Instead of dowry, there is bride price indicating high social status of tribal women . A tribal women can divorce and remarry easily. She earns and upto a great extent is economically independent. Every 12th women in India belongs to a schedule tribe community


Tribal women from early ago go out for work. As their main occupation is farming, they do farm related works such as sowing, ploughing, plucking, etc. Many tribal women work on daily wages schemes of Govt. such as Road Construction. All these women are mostly uneducated and get exploited by the men working as agents contractors etc.


Thus improving the health status of the tribal women becomes an important developmental goal

Reasons for poor health in Tribal  Women are –

·        Poor Economics Condition

·        Early marriage

·        Unhygienic living conditions

·        High prevalence of illness

·        Religious beliefs

·        Poor Nutritional status

·        Infections

·        Illitracy


Nutritional Status:

Food is the major component of health, so proper nutrients are required for the good health. Deficiency of proteins, carbohydrates, fact, vitamins, iron, minerals, etc. can leads to many serious health problems in women. Maternal mortality is high in tribal communities. May be children are born to very young women with closely spaced pregnancies but poor nutritional status of women is the major cause. Anaemia poor calcium intake, toxemia are some of the serious problems faced by women.


A diet that provides sufficient calories proteins and micro- nutrients is essential for a pregnancy to be successfully carried to term proper nutrition and avoidance of unnecessary pregnancy related taboos can reduce serious complications during pregnancy and child birth. Under –nourishment of women and girl child in particular, that is emerging as critical factor responsible for infect mortality. Poor maternal health results in low birth weight and premature babies.


Health includes physical and mental development also the psychological and social development. Health problems that most of the tribal women facing are in fact mortality, nutritional status, fertility, neo-natal mortality, post-natal mortality, prenatal mortality, poor life expectancy, anaemia etc. physical health includes malnutrition and poor physical conditions, mental health includes general beliefs and attitude towards new meditations practices. Family planning includes, reproductive health behavior.


Tribal women’s own beliefs, illiteracy, poverty, non-access to scientific information contribute to low health modernity status.


The success of dynamic tribal women’s development is depend on various factors like improved literacy rate, socio-economic status, women’s empowerment, better-health care and other human resource indicators.



Health of tribal women is a very important issue from the point of view of Research. Health related problem arise from many situations such as poor hygiene, illiteracy, malnutrition, beliefs, alcoholism, early marriage etc. whatever is the cause, remedies are very essential to decrease the problems. Awareness programmes are needed very prominently in tribal areas.


Deori Taluka is the part of Gondia Distt. Of Maharashtra where very few researches were done. Halbi, Pradhan, Kawar are some of the tribal found in this area.


Research Design:

Deori Taluka consisted of 121 tribal zones. Among those some are developed and some are non- developed zones. For this research purpose all one developed tribal zones were selected. These areas are also Naxalite affected areas. Due to this reason the pace of development is very slow. Many health related problems are increasing due to poor knowledge, unawareness, beliefs etc. Because of these problems this research work has be undertaken.



·        To study the health condition of tribal women ( age 15 -45 years) of Deori tai. Dist Gondia.

·        To evaluate food intake of the above age group.

·        To study the habit pattern regarding health of tribal women of Deori taluka.

·        To examine the availability of food items for tribal women in their villages.

·        To study whether the food components are providing them sufficient nutrients.

·        To  identify different sub-castes in the tribal village of Deori taluka and its relationship with food intake and diseases.

·        To divide selected age group in two groups to study the different diseases and reproductive problems among them.



·        The health condition of women in Deori taluka is deteriorating because of unhealthy food intake poor hygiene and social problems.

·        This selected age of women in Deori taluka is suffering from multiple diseases and unhygienic reproductive facilities.


Statistical Analysis of Data:

The gathered information from selected sample was treated by the percentage method.


Selection of sample:

For this research, sample of age group 15 -45 years of women were selected. 50% sample was selected from the total available sample. For the same Kakodi, Chilhati, Murmadi, Rajamdongri, Uchepur, Wadekasa, Instari areas were selected. From these seven zones women of age group 15 -45 years were selected.



According to Nisreen Maimoon (Souvenir Problems of Malnutrition):

On clinical examination mean height of Tribal female was 148 cm. weight 440.66 Kg. arm circumference 21.54 cms, mean systolic BP 155.29 mm Hg and diastolic BP 77.55 mm Hg. When non tribal group there was no significant difference in basic anthological and Medical of 57 tribals types for anemia 32% had B-12 defeciency Anemia 47.3 % mixed anemia and only 21.05% had Iron deficiency Anemia Overall blood picture shows combined Ironed –B-12 Folic acid deficiency.



According to Chaya Datar and Santosh Kumar (Report Status of tribal women in Mahgarashtra):

The report made several observations it stated that health status of tribal women and children is found as most critical and need to used attention to transform the statistics of this indicator along with other recommendation. Its stated that the problem of early marriages and early pregnancies should be tackled at war footing level. Malnutrition as very closed link to poverty and eliminating poverty has to be the most crucial agenda by providing opportunities.


Data Analysis and Interpretation of Primary Data:

Distribution of Sample Respondents (Tribal Women) Age-Group wise in Percentage



Age Group

15 – 30 years



Age Group

31 – 45 years




15 – 20 years



31-35 years




21-25 years



35- 40 years




26- 30 years



41-45 years












Under research study seven non- developed village are selected for Research. After selecting 154 samples it is divided into two groups i.e. 15 -30 years & 31 -45 years. The percentage of marriage women is 79.13 % There are some tribes like Gond, Halbi, Pradhan in Deori Taluka. Percentage of nuclear family were more then joint family.


Education and occupation:

Educational status is very poor. 45% women are illiterate in the age group of 31 – 45 years, 25% women have taken primary education in the age group of 15 -30 years, 36.18% are in the age group of 31 -45% years secondary and higher secondary and higher secondary education become less due to increased percentage of drop out. It is concluded that tribal women are passive in the matter of education because of their financial poor condition. Tribal women always work in farm for fulfilling their basic needs. So they could not take education properly. Their family occupation is agriculture. If they have no farm they work as labour in other’s farm for fulfilling their basic needs. The percentage of nuclear family is 83.46% Tribal women are working with their parents before marriage. After husbanmf and wife work together for their livelihood. They never depend upon their parents after marriage. Women work in field and play an important role for nourishment of their child and work in the field. Monthly income of tribal family is not more than Rs. 2500/- this make bad effect on their day to day life. They are not able to fulfill their basic needs. Government provide job to them under “Rojgar Hami Yojna” scheme in dry seasons.


Health and Hygine:

There are some reasons for uncleanliness, such as cattle shed which is unclean and place of unwanted things which are near to their houses, it is not good for health. It result in the spreading of contagious and infectious diseases like Diarrhea, Dysentery, Jaundice, Malaria, Typhoid etc. there are not latrines in their houses.

·        52% tribal; women use the water which is taken from well & 48% women are using the water of hand pump. The distance between the water sources and the house is more. They spend nerly 4-5 hours for bringing water and for storing them.

·        100% tribal women are filtering the water but none of them has adopted new techniques for purifying the water. They store the water in the earthen pots and steel pots, etc.

·        77% of women are clening the pots of water but 23% of them are not cleaning the pots because of scarcity and more distance between the water source and house. So it is concluded that the system of tribal women education, their monthy income, nature of work their addication of drinks and chewing tobacco, taking treatment from vaidya instead of doctors, the big part of food to head of family etc. all these things affect the health of tribal women.


Health and clinical Assessment:

·        In the study of health of tribal women it is concluded height and weight of tribal is as less as height ( according to ICMR)

·        After clinical check up made by doctor and after checking the hemoglobin it is concluded that the average hemoglobin was 8 -10 gm( 15-30 years) and 8.03gm(31-45years)

·        So the tribal women were anemic, because the Iron deficiency in their diet.. they suffer all these thing during pregnancy period indirectly its affect the health of baby.

·        97% tribal women are suffering from lethargy, giddiness, dyspepsia and low back ache. They are also suffering from white discharge. They suffer all these due to illiteracy and poverty.

·        Only 35% women reap benefits by going to the primary health centre whereas reaming women are not taking benefits because they believe more in the superstition. They believe on Vaidya, Mantrik or household treatment. Because of this they face many problem and sometime they may even lead to death. 30% tribal women do not suffer from serious diseases but they suffer from cough, cold, diarrhea, dysentery, jaundice, malaria, typhoid.etc. Because of unfiltered water, poor and bad habits about diet, lack of nutrients may affect their immunity and hence they face all these diseases frequently. It is also noticed that 75 of tribal women are suffering from T.B. 3% of tribal women are HIV positive.

·        The STD is increasing day by day. The main reson for this is poverty. Deori taluka is situated on the highway,so many of the tribal women are working as sex worker to fulfill their needs and for earning money. This problem is very serous.

·        The tribal  women are aware about the menstruation cycle. They are guided by the Anganwadi Sevika. Tribal women take bath at night as they spend most of their daytime in work aand on the other hand the bathroom are not available

·        Higher percentage of tribal women has given birth to their child at home through the trained “DAI”. Very less of them have given brith to their child in the hospital. They are using blade for cutting the umbilical cord. 98% of tribal women has done the family planning. They are feeding milk to their child upto one year after delivery.

·        Age group ( 15-30years) 12% women (31045years) 21% women have to go to the farm within one week after delivery because of their poor financial condition.they are not taking rest and prefer togo for work 45% of the tribal women are joining their routine work after a month. ASfter studying it is noticed that they keep their new born 15 day baby at home and go to farm for seeding of rice in rainy season.

·         91% of tribal women are taking the mixed diet. They eat meat once in a week. 71.88% of tribal women age group ( 15-30yeras) is taking diet for three or four time in a day 89% of tribal women age group (31-45 years) is taking diet three times in a day. Rice is the main food in their diet. They use dal only twice in a month in their diet. They of vegetable in their diet. They use brinjal, tomato, ladies finger, louki etc. very rarely when they are available in low cost and more smoothly.

·        They know about the fruits like banana, grapes, orange, apple etc. but they never buy it because of its high cost. So instead of these foods they are using those fruits which are available in the forests or field and which is free of cost. But availability of such fruits are very low as they are seasonal fruits. Ex. Black berry, guava, jackfruit, tembhre.

·        98% of tribal women do not drink milk. They are taking black tea. Some of the m do not even known about the taste of milk. Only 2% of the women are taking milk in their diet. Curd is used only for kadhi. The reason behind this is the high cost of milk and milk products. They are thinking that cow and bull are their property and the milk from cow must get only to her calf. So they are not taking milk from cow. They are using very less oil and ghee in the diet. The quantity of sugar and jiggery is also less.


The food stuff ratio was less than balance diet according to ICMR & NIN





Pulses/ Legumes

Leafy Vegetable

Roots and Tuber




Sugar/ Jaggery



570 cal








Tribal women intake food stuff










It is concluded that tribal women do not take sufficient food in their diet and hence they become a victim of malnutrition.


Tribal women lack the quantity of the nutrients because of poverty, ignorance, superstition, wrong method of cooking etc. because of this tribal women had faced its bad effects on health. There is no variety in their food. So they are not able to maintain their health properly and at last it results in malnutrition. So they face many health problems like dental disorders, anaemia etc.



It is almost obvious that the tribal communities in India is extremely backward and poverty striken. Particularly status of tribal women and children is very poor. Health of a tribal women is the most concern issue, Reproductive health, nutritional status, Religious beliefs, unhygienic living conditions, unawareness about available health, educational facilities provided by government, voluntary organization etc. are some of the most of the crucial aspects of the life of the tribal women. Maternal mortality rate is very high among tribal women. Hence it is very important to highlight above problems through various research programmers activity and to improve social, physical health, hygienically status of tribal women.


Through this study the researcher has given some recommendation regarding Health, Education of tribal women. They are as follows-


Recommendations for Nutrition Health:

·        It is extremely important to provide correct information regarding dietary norms, for all the wrong notions and practices, among the tribal women, through the research projects, social activities, health awareness programmers.

·        The various programmes initiated by the Government agencies such as ICDS, Mahila and Bal Kalyan etc. should made it compulsory to enroll the tribal women and children get benefits of the scheme.

·        A clear understanding of the nutritive contents, in the agricultural productions locally grown, would help the women to get the proper intake of required nutrients. Ex. The green, leafy vegetable and other products with rich nutritive value are grown in these areas, so the proper knowledge through various temonstration, methods of preparation should be given to the tribal women, through training programmes.



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·        Bhabdarkar’s P.L., Samaji Sandhodhan Paddhati 1976 Dattasan Prakashan.

·        Datar Chaya, Kumar Santhosh, Report, Status of Tribal Women in Maharashtra, Tata Institute of Social Science

·        Deogaonkar Shailaja, Deogaonkar S.G. Adivasi Vishwa, Anand Prakashan 2001, Page No. 8,9,22,221.

·        Farkade TRiveni, Gonge Sutabha, Poshan Ani Aaharshtra, June 2005, Pimplapure Publication page. No 237, 244,245.

·        Joshi Shubhangi A. Nutrition & Dietetics 2002, Tata MC Grow Hill, page no. 143,156

·        Kumari Vimlesh Community Health 2006, Discovery Publication House, page no. 171,177.

·        Maimoon Nasreen Maimoon S. , Vali S.A. Sovineir problems of Malnutrition in tribal children in Maharashtra 15th March 2010. M.K. Umathe College Nagpur page no. 1,2







Received on 02.08.2019        Modified on 18.09.2019

Accepted on 16.10.2019      ©AandV Publications All right reserved

Res.  J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 2019; 10(4): 1078-1082.

DOI: 10.5958/2321-5828.2019.00177.3