Konda Reddi Tribe: Birth Control Beliefs & Challenges

  Aug 25, 2023

Birth Control Beliefs and Challenges among Konda Reddi Tribe

Q1: Who are the Konda Reddi tribe, and where is the village discussed in the article located?

The Konda Reddi tribe is a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) living in the Naxal-hit hill village of Muntha Mamidi in northeast Andhra Pradesh, India.

Q2: What is the prevailing belief among the Konda Reddi tribe regarding family size?

In Muntha Mamidi village, having five children is considered the minimum number, and many couples have up to 10 or 11 children due to the belief that more children lead to greater prosperity.

Q3: What factors contribute to the reluctance towards birth control?

The Konda Reddi women are assigned more work than men in their forest-based cultivation activities, leading to concerns that birth control may impact their physical strength and ability to work on farms.

Q4: What challenges do Konda Reddi women face in accessing birth control and healthcare?

Poor road connectivity, lack of a functional healthcare infrastructure, and inadequate access to medical care and contraception methods contribute to challenges in accessing birth control services.

Q5: How does the absence of ASHA workers affect healthcare services?

The absence of Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers hinders regular medical check-ups, prenatal care, and institutional deliveries, particularly for pregnant women.

Q6: What efforts have been made to promote family planning in the village?

Village volunteers have been appointed to create awareness about birth control and family planning. However, a lack of proper healthcare facilities and resources hinder effective implementation.

Q7: What are some beliefs held by men regarding birth control?

Men in the Konda Reddi tribe may be hesitant to undergo vasectomy and may prefer using locally available herbal medicines for birth control, as advocated by tribal elders.

Q8: What impact does the lack of basic amenities have on the community?

The lack of access to education, nutrition, and proper healthcare, coupled with meager income, contributes to challenging living conditions for the Konda Reddi tribe.

Q9: What efforts are being made to address family planning needs?

Integrated Tribal Development Authorities (ITDA) have noted the need for family planning surgeries during medical camps. However, there is a lack of a clear roadmap to address these needs and provide proper healthcare facilities.

Q10: What could be the potential future implications of these birth control beliefs and challenges?

If the prevailing beliefs and challenges continue, future generations in the Konda Reddi tribe could also adopt the practice of having larger families, perpetuating the cycle of limited access to resources and healthcare.

What factors contribute to the reluctance towards birth control?

The reluctance towards birth control among the Konda Reddi women is influenced by several factors, primarily related to their roles and responsibilities within their community. These factors include:
Gender-Based Work Division: In the Konda Reddi tribe, women are assigned a significant portion of the agricultural and forest-based cultivation activities. They are responsible for tasks such as sowing, harvesting, and carrying the harvest from the fields to their homes. This demanding labor is considered "rattu" or laborious. As a result, there is a concern that undergoing birth control might lead to physical weakness, making it challenging for women to continue with these physically demanding tasks.
Economic Dependency: Given that their livelihood is closely tied to agricultural work, women may feel that their ability to contribute economically to their families could be compromised if they experience any health issues after undergoing birth control procedures. This economic dependency further reinforces the apprehension towards birth control methods.
Impact on Farming: Konda Reddi women are aware that they play a crucial role in maintaining the family's agricultural activities. They believe that reducing their ability to work effectively on the farm due to the potential side effects of birth control could adversely affect their family's farming productivity.
Societal Norms and Identity: In their community, the role of women as active contributors to the workforce is highly valued and ingrained in their cultural identity. Birth control, if perceived as causing physical weakness or rendering them less capable of fulfilling their responsibilities, could challenge their sense of identity within the community.
Overall, the reluctance towards birth control among Konda Reddi women is a complex interplay of economic considerations, cultural norms, and concerns about physical ability. These factors combine to create apprehensions about the potential consequences of birth control on their work and role within their families and community.


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