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LIVING AND HEALTH CONDITIONS OF MIGRATORY SUGARCANE HARVEST WORKERS OF AHEMDNGAR DISTRICT IN MAHARASHTRA

DOI: 10.7439/ijbar.v3i2.287

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Abstract:

Background-Maharashtra being one of the developed states in India, is a hub for in-migration. Seasonal migration of agricultural workers during sugar cane harvesting season has been an established phenomena. Thousands of workers with their families come to Maharashtra for the period of approximately six months, starting from November each year. This migratory population faces various adversities of life. Agricultural workers face a large number of health problems, many of which arise from their work Material and Methods- Prospective observational study was carried out for the period of six months in the operational Zones of 3 Co-operative Sugar Processing Units. Results- Study revealed that the literacy rate among workers was extremely low. Majority belonged to lower socioeconomic class and from underprivileged section of the society. The housing and living conditions at work site were extremely poor. The nutritional status of the workers and their family members was unsatisfactory. Malnutrition, respiratory, musculoskeletal, dermatological, gastrointestinal diseases were very much prevalent. There was high prevalence of addictions and domestic violence among these workers. Overall reproductive health of males and female members was worrisome. Lack of antenatal care and unsafe delivery practices result in high maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. The immunization status of the children of these workers was unsatisfactory. Conclusion- A well defined policy, comprehensive approach, well coordinated actions and political will for social welfare and medical care, will help to improve the plight of migratory sugarcane harvest workers.

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