Assessment of nutritional status and socio-economic conditions of terracotta artisans of panchmura, West Bengal

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Author: 
Mousumi Ganguly, Malay Kumar Patsa, Priya Chowdhury and Arindam Ganguly
Abstract: 

The terracotta art owe a very ancient lineage and bear a long tradition of excellence and unique craftsmanship. Bankura has a rich cultural heritage of handloom industry and handicrafts. It is world famous for Baluchari textile, conch shell carving, bell metal engraving and exquisite terracotta temples. The ethnicity, emblematic design depicting mythological folk-tales, rural life styles represents a culmination of artistic expressions. Though this craft is enjoying a ready market both at home and abroad, there are some grey areas demanding immediate attention. This paper attempts to explore the nutritional status, socio-economic background of terracotta artisans of Panchmura. Terracotta Workers numbering 25 in the age group of 17-66 years who were willing to co-operate for the study were selected by convenient sampling method. The assessment of nutritional status revealed presence of malnutrition (16 %) among them. The mean height, weight, Body mass Index and Waist/Heap Ratio of the population were 1.57 ± 0.11 m, 53.32 ± 8.19 Kg, 21.46 ± 3.36 & 0.94 ± 0.04 respectively. The age-wise distribution of the workers revealed that majority (47.37 %) of the males belonged to the age group of 18-35 years while most of the females (50 %) were in the upper-age group of above 45 years. The gender-wise distribution of the artisans revealed that mass of the population (76 %) was represented by males. Joint family (64 %) type still prevails in the community. 56 % of the workers lived in large-size family system. The literacy rate (92 %) among terracotta artisans was quiet encouraging. The economic profile disclosed that the average monthly household income (Rs. 7320) and standard of living of the workers are very poor.

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