B. Sharma and D.N. Kalita
Assessment of physiological stress of farm women was evaluated in a OFT programme conducted in kamrup district of Assam, Physiological stress and musco skeletal discomfort or pain of farm women was assessed during performing winnowing both in hand operated mechanical winnower developed by ICAR, barapani and with traditional practice of winnowing by using bamboo made structure called kula or Dola. Two women workers are required for the operation of hand operated mechanical winnower, one for cracking the blower and other one for feeding the threshed materials and collecting the grain. On the other side one women can perform the activity alone in traditional practice. Average working heart rate and energy expenditure of women in using hand operated mechanical winnower is 131.1 beats/min and 12.12 kl/min respectively, which is observed 5.8 & 9.98 per cent less than traditional practice of winnowing. Physiological cost of work reduced by18.86 per cent with use of hand operated winnower. Output of winning found more in hand operated winnower which in turn saving labour cost. Musculoskeletal problem of women were assessed in terms of pain or discomfort experienced by women during performing winnowing activity. Five point likert scale was used to explore how they feel discomfort or pain.Discomfort or pain in neck and knee found almost double in performance of traditional winnowing. The equipment developed was found suitable in terms of reducing drudgery and working performance but as the equipment need two people to work at a time and high initial investment, preference of accepting the equipment at household level found minimum.
Keyword: Drudgery; Winnower; Physiological stress; Farm women; Musco-skeletal;