Tag Archives: access

IMA, NCERT and Existing Inequalities – Issues Around Availability and Accessibility of Health Care: Sarojini N. B. and Deepa V.

Guest post by SAROJINI N.B. and DEEPA V

[A story appeared on 11 July 2015 in some newspapers about the Indian Medial Association demanding deletions from a class VII NCERT textbook. An immediate response appeared in Kafila to some of the issues raised by IMA.

This post, whose authors Sarojini and Deepa were centrally involved in the writing of the textbook in question, here put certain things in perspective. They present this as an initial clarificatory response to the news report. ]

We are writing regarding an article “Docs oppose ‘negative’ portrayal by NCERT” that appeared in the front page of The Hindu on 11 JUly 2015, Delhi edition by Bindu Shajan Perappadan. The article refers to the chapter “Role of the Government in Health” in the NCERT’s social science textbook on Social and Political Life-II for Class VII students. The article reports that the IMA has written to President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Ministries of Health and Education, pointing to the “objectionable description” of private healthcare services. The IMA has also demanded “immediate remedial action” stating in their letter that the “matter should be taken seriously and the NCERT should be directed to delete or re-write this chapter”.

In 2007, several NCERT text books were developed, including the textbook in question Social and Political Life-II for Class VII, through a consultative and contributory process in which many of us were involved. The process led by NCERT was a progressive attempt at reviewing and developing content on a range of subject areas and issues in the country, in order to generate knowledge that is as contemporary and comprehensive as possible, and encourages critical and analytical thinking on the part of students.  While the issues were complex, authors / contributors as a group attempted to develop chapters that would reflect an understanding that is rooted in social, economic and political realities, while making them interesting and comprehensible for class VII students. The chapters foreground existing inequalities and discuss the issues around availability and accessibility of health care – including some key characteristics of the private and public health sector. Continue reading IMA, NCERT and Existing Inequalities – Issues Around Availability and Accessibility of Health Care: Sarojini N. B. and Deepa V.

Disability and the City Part II

Hobbling on the beach

I was born next to Elliot’s beach in Besant nagar in Chennai where I spent a large amount of my childhood and adolescence A small caveat about this area: Besant Nagar is considered one of the posh areas in Chennai. However, like many such places the combination of communities the class composition of this area is far more complex; large bungalows of film stars and the like co-exist with the Uroor slum. By co-exist of course, I don’t mean for a moment that they peacefully co-exist. They are next to one another (sort of) and there are many who are out there to change that. The slum has been destroyed by humans (more often) and natural disasters many a times. The latest being a bid by the government to build an elevated highway next to the ocean displacing the entire slum (again!). But that’s another story. (http://letsrob.org/home/)

The beach itself is an interesting space in my city, it is one of the few remaining public spaces that people can come and relax in without paying. But there are unsaid divisions within the beach. Having known this particular beach almost my whole life, I know that there are different unspoken, unmarked sections for the rich, the poor, the lovers, the lusters, the friends, the random teenagers who would have just met two minutes ago and aunty-uncle couples who have been married for time immemorial.  Of course, the way these boundaries are drawn and where you find yourself changes according to a variety of factors.

After a fascinating flight journey (which will be another piece in the series), my first outing in Chennai few days after I reached home was to my beloved beach. Continue reading Disability and the City Part II