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Occupational Health Hazards of Farm Women in Tobacco Cultivation

K. Suman Kalyani, K. Deo Singh and S.K.Naidu

Abstract

The health of women is an important indicator of national development as the woman is the preserver of tradition and cultural heritage, manager of resources and rearer of future generation. In tobacco cultivation, women play a crucial role starting from the selection of seeds through sowing, manuring, nursery bed raising, transplanting, harvesting, curing, stringing, grading and packing, etc. These operations are time consuming and they require lot of patience and skill. The long hours of productive physical labour causes exhaustion and drudgery among farmwomen. The study was carried out in Rajanagaram, Korukonda and Rangampeta mandals of East Godavari district. Hundred-farm women labour, working in tobacco were selected following purposive random sampling method for study. A pre tested interview schedule was constructed to study the working conditions and drudgery of farm women. Study revealed a significant contribution of women labourers in every farm operation. All the agricultural operations in tobacco were compared and rated with a difficulty score. The drudgery index score was calculated by taking the parameters of difficulty score, ease of handling, time spent and frequency of performance. The high drudgery index was observed for weeding, watering, manuring followed by harvesting and stringing. The study recommends certain strategies for the benefit of women workers in tobacco depending on the health hazards expressed by them

Keyword: Tobacco cultivation; Farm

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