• Print ISSN: 2395 - 1400, Online ISSN: 2455 - 8923

Original Article

Impact of illness in terms of loss of activities among children of migrant indigenous community in an Eastern Indian city

1Department of Anthropology, Sambalpur University, Sambalpur, 2Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of MedicalSciences, New Delhi, 3Health Systems Research Division, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi


Introduction: The child’s inability due to illness and time for seeking treatment leads to depriving children of opportunity to play, schooling and work. The present study provide data on impact of childhood illnesses on loss of schooling, play and work among an indigenous migrant community living in an Eastern Indian city.

Material and methods:With selection criteria of (i) the family should have migrated within last 12 years, and (ii) having a child aged 0-14 years; 175 households were selected from indigenous people dominated slums. Data were collected through interviewing mothers.

Results: About 37% of children deprived of play and 69% of children were absent to school during illness. About 12% children are engaged in paid labour. More of female children engaged in both paid and domestic work than male children. Thus a substantial proportion of children with illnesses have disability in terms of losing time for school, play and work. As these children belong to poor indigenous migrant community, there was substantial loss of income too due to loss of paid working days.

Conclusion: With the goal of ameliorating the adverse outcome of ill-health, larger studies are needed to prevent the illness related disability and to improve the quality of life of children.