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A study on anthropometric measurement, socio-economic conditions & occupational health problems of Baluchari Shari weavers of Bishnupur

Author: 
Mousumi Ganguly and Arindam Ganguly
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Baluchari Shari is a type of graceful handloom garment that has a long tradition of excellence and unique craftsmanship. The ethnicity, emblematic design and exceptional colour combination depicting mythological folk-tales, rural life styles bear international repute. Though this handloom product is enjoying a ready market both at home and abroad, there are some grey areas demanding immediate attention to sustain and further improve the weaving industry. An effort has been taken to study the nutritional status, socio-economic background and occupational health problems of the Baluchari Shari weavers of Bishnupur. Handloom weavers numbering 62 in the age group of 17-75 years who were willing to co-operate for the study were selected by convenient sampling method. The assessment of nutritional status revealed high prevalence of malnutrition (53.22 %) among Baluchari Shari weavers. The age-wise distribution of the weavers divulged that majority (56 %) of the males belonged to the age group of 18-35 years while most (33.33 %) of the female were in the middle-age group of 36-45 years. This weaving society was mostly dominated by males (80.65 %). Joint family (77.4 %) type still prevails in the weavers' community in which 67.74 % were medium in size. Expertise workers (40.33 %) who had experience of jacquard weaving for more than 2 decades were predominant in the population. Further, it was observed that majority (77.42 %) of the weavers were engaged in weaving activity for 8 hours a day. The literacy rate among Baluchari workers was 72.58 %. The economic profile disclosed that the average monthly household income (Rs. 3620) and standard of living of the handloom weavers were miserable. The musculoskeletal pain, dimness of vision and abdominal discomfort were reported in 46.88, 21.87 & 25 percent of cases respectively. Another serious complication of the weavers was the prevalence of fungal infection (6.25 %) and resultant intrusive black spot on belly.

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