This update is from Dr. Regi George of the Tribal health initiative (THI) which caters to the health needs and livelihood support of tribal communities in Sittilingi valley and Kalrayan hills of Dharmapuri, Tamilnadu. You can learn more about AID’s partnership with THI through this link.
THI used to run a school health program to create awareness about health and minor illnesses and to identify any marked illnesses among school going children. This has been suspended for a year due to the pandemic.
The Kalrayan clinics which had been shut during the first wave of the pandemic recently reopened, but they may have to shut down if the COVID situation deteriorates.
Many tribals earn extra income from temporary migration (3 – 6 months) to supplement their agriculture income. This greatly reduced because of the pandemic. They need alternate agricultural income sources during this time of hardship.
AID has currently supported a THI program for honey bee keeping, by distributing more than 150 boxes to 75 families to earn extra income during the pandemic. THI anticipates that providing revolving loans for cattle, goats, poultry, fruit growing etc are what will help them the most.