Slideshow | A celebration of tribal values and a healthy lifestyle among the Kaani community: International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2015 – Tamil Nadu

Photos and report courtesy S.S. Davidson © 2015

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples was celebrated by the Kaani tribal people at the Vellambi Tribal Settlement in Keeriparai in Kanyakumari forest, sponsored by the Tribal Foundation with the theme, ensuring the health and well-being of the indigenous people on 9 August 2015.

To combat the accelerating human versus animal conflict, lime saplings were distributed to the indigenous people, which were not attacked by wild boar, monkeys or any other wild animals. Organic floor mats were also distributed and elderly people of the community including elders Sankaran Kaani, Mundathi Kaani, Kumar Kaani were honored with shawls.

Health matters

Addressing the indigenous people, environmental educator S S Davidson said that the indigenous people comparatively enjoy better health in spite of some social underdevelopments. As per a survey by medical check-ups, the incidence of diabetes and blood pressure obesity were in a negligible percentage. Obesity and cardiac problems were never found. Caesarian cases were not reported in the community. The disease free life is attributed to the stress- free factor in life and the restrictions in food and consumption intake pattern in life. Moreover they never consume packed food and bottled drinks. Their physical environment in the forest is clean and free from pollution. Other sectors of people had to learn their way of stress-free life and their traditional knowledge for adopting in life situations. The way of life is a model for others to emulate.

United Nations

The United Nations Declaration affirms the right to maintain indigenous health practices and to have access to all social and health services for the enjoyment of the highest standards of physical and mental health. The drawbacks in the community include inadequate sanitation and housing, lack of prenatal care, widespread violence against women, and high rates of diabetes, drug and alcohol abuse, youth suicide and infant mortality.

There are more than 370 million Indigenous peoples living in some 90 countries. It is estimated that they constitute 15 percent of the world’s poor, and one third of the 900 million people living in extreme poverty in rural areas. In vast numbers, indigenous peoples live in some of the world’s most resource rich areas, but their own forms of conservation and resource management have been historically

“On this International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, I call on the international community to ensure that they are not left behind. To create a better, more equitable future, let us commit to do more to improve the health and well-being of indigenous peoples.” – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Every year, 9 August is commemorated as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day is celebrated with special events around the world, including at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

This year’s theme puts a spotlight on the issue of indigenous peoples’ access to health care services, as improving indigenous peoples’ health remains a critical challenge for indigenous peoples, Member States and the United Nations. The “State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, Volume II”, which will be launched at the UN Headquarters event in observance of the International Day, provides important background information on the topic.

Source: International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, 9 August
Date Visited: Mon Aug 31 2015 18:43:10 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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