ECOLOGY, LIVELIHOOD AND DISEASE AMONG THE FISHING AND BOATING COMMUNITIES: A STUDY OF SELECTED VILLAGES IN SOUTH ASSAM, INDIASuranjan Das
This paper highlights livelihood and health problems of fishing and boating communities living in rural areas of South Assam. The fishing and boating communities are living in remote and isolated villages of the region who settled nearby rivers, water bodies and low land for survival with their traditional occupation. But due to gradual ecological changes they are in hard livelihood crisis which made them poor and vulnerable to diseases and illness. Poverty, illiteracy and ignorance of the communities turned majority of them into landless labourers and wage earners. Small and marginal farmers of the communities are also suffering from similar conditions. Lack of proper sanitation, drinking water and unhygienic health habits are also responsible for their sufferings from disease and illness. They are far away from the surveillance of the health care system provided by government. Access to modern health care is not possible for them due to lack of availability and affordability of modern medicine.