Challenges of Aging in a Tribal Belt

By: Jennifer Philip  

This study delved into the lives of a tribal group known as Kokna living in the Thane district of Maharashtra, India. The objective of the study was to understand the social positioning of the elderly living in a tribal belt and to understand their challenges. The Kokna tribe still remains unexplored from an Anthropological point of view, hence it is necessary to study the elderly men and women living in the community in their social context through their life history narratives. This study sheds light on the challenges faced by the elderly in relation to their aging. The increase in the number of elderly persons in the society provides a challenge in terms of maintenance of their quality of life which includes access to effective health care services, active participation in social and economic development, and the right to ownership of land and property. There has to be more focus on the experiences of aging among the elderly living in the tribal areas and how they perceive their growing old in their context. In the Indian context especially in the tribal context, it is noted that the studies have been addressing health status, caregivers‘ status, mental health status, and so on. Limited studies in the Indian context have captured the voices of the elderly about how they perceive their aging and health. This is important because it is essential to understand the community‘s perception of aging to evolve a cultural definition of aging and becoming old.

Tribal Elderly, Aging
Social and Cultural Perspectives on Aging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Jennifer Philip