New Delhi: Providing tribals with easy access to healthcare facilities is the key to solve their problems and ensure their “all around” development, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) chairman Harsh Chouhan said on Tuesday (March 15). He also stressed the need to work for the members of the community with “empathy”. Inaugurating a two-day dialogue on tribal health and evaluation of health system in the scheduled areas, he said access to healthcare is “a big issue” in tribal areas and urged participants to deliberate on “this concern” and come up with concrete suggestions for a way forward.
When we work for development of tribals, one aspect that comes to mind about them is that they do no have understanding. So most of the people you find working for the development of tribals out of sympathy, are those engaged in spreading awareness. The number of those working for them with empathy are a less in the entire (government) system and non-government initiatives. When we go further, it comes to their mind that migration of tribals is a very big problem. And then, debates and discussions are held on this. It is very surprising that people do not even understand the difference between migration of people from tribal areas and other areas, NCTE chairman said.
Migration of people from plain areas like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh is permanent while migration of tribals from their areas is temporary, he said.
The main reason behind tribals migrating to other places is the problem of healthcare. A tribal leaves his village for other places to earn money only after he is fully burdened in debt. And the reason for this debt is his expenditure on healthcare, he said.
This was the finding of a study conducted by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) on the Commission’s request, he said.
That’s why we decided to hold a discussion on the issue of healthcare first, he added.
In his inaugural address, the NCTE chairman urged participants to deliberate, during the two-day event, on the availability healthcare services to tribals in their areas, their accessibility and effectiveness on the ground.
Identify what are the concerns at the grassroot level and deliberate on their possible solutions. How can the available network be made user-friendly. On the basis of outcomes of the deliberations on these two points, discussions can be held on the way forward. If we come up with concrete suggestions, there will be changes in system and their understanding of the problem, he said.
He hoped that the outcome of the two-day dialogue on the issue will help the commission create a mechanism for monitoring of healthcare system in tribal areas and also make necessary recommendations to the government from time to time.
A number of non-government organisations working at the grassroot levels for development of tribals, health experts are among those attending the two-day event.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.