Nutritional Status and Its Determinants Amongst the Sabar Community

The aim of this project was to understand the nutritional status of the Sabars and how it is linked with determinants such as drinking water, livelihood, forests etc. Attempt was made to understand the steps being taken by the state to address the nutritional status which is generally found to be poor in tribal communities and the implementation of the interventions being taken by the government. The Sabar community is a ‘Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group’ and one of the most marginalised tribal groups in the country with poor socio economic and health indicators.

This photo essay reflects on the nutritional status and its determinants among this community and the need to develop a comprehensive approach towards addressing malnutrition. It seeks to emphasise the importance of determinants that impact on health and nutritional status. If the state is to take any serious efforts towards combating the issue of nutrition and food security in the community, it needs to take a holistic approach and address the underlying and structural causes of food insecurity and hunger. (Funded by IDRC Canada through the Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies, Trivandrum, India).  

Submitted by:
Deepika Joshi

Drinking Water

Jhiriya (spring) is one of the common source of water used for drinking and cooking purposes in hilly areas in absence of piped supply water. Due to its stagnant form, the water is often not fit for consumption and results in disease outbreaks.

Photographer: Ms. Smruti Behera

School Meal Programme

Mid Day Meal scheme, a government of India programme, is the largest school feeding programme in the world. It is designed to improve the nutritional status and also attract and retain children in school. Jharkhand government is one of the few state government to introduce egg in mid-day-meals.

Photographer: Ms. Richa Sahu

Sabar man making Bamboo Broom

Bamboo products is one of the major source of income for primarily forest dependent Sabar community. Interaction with the community revealed that the collection of forest produce is reducing every year due to decreased forest cover, loss of control over forest due to increased state restrictions, changing weather pattern and so on.

Photographer: Ms. Richa Sahu

Sabar women

Sabar women returning to home after collecting forest produce. The malnutrition levels among Sabar children, women and men are extremely high.

Photographer: Ms. Richa Sahu

Food Guarantee Scheme

Names of different categories of beneficiaries displayed outside the ration shop under the Public Distribution System that provides a fixed amount of subsidised food grains per month. Recent government policies mandating requirement of biometric ID cards to access these services has led to denial of subsidised grain for many Sabar families.

Photographer: Ms. Smruti Behera