Socio-cultural and Nutritional Environment of a Marginal Community of Uttarakhand, India—A Case Study of the Tharu Tribe

  • B. R. PantEmail author
  • Surendra Pal
Part of the Perspectives on Geographical Marginality book series (PGEO)


An attempt has been made here to investigate the socio-cultural and nutritional environment of Tharu population in Uttarakhand. More than 95% of the Tharu population resides mainly in the Sitarganj and Khatima tehsils (Tehsil or sub-division is an administrative unit of the district controlled by sub-divisional Magistrate/Tehsildar) of the state of Uttarakhand. This study is based on both the primary and secondary information. The secondary data released by the census of India 2001 and 2011 on one hand and the primary data gathered from 907 households in 22 sample villages on the other. The household level data have been collected through structured questionnaires from a door to door survey and personal observation. Stratified purposive sampling procedure was adopted to select the households to obtain representative sample of the tribal community for each strata. The data pertaining to cultural aspects, demographic composition, nutrition status, have closely reflected the situation as it exist in Tharu society. Actual food intake taken by Tharu people was collected during field work in local units and then converted into standard units of measurement and these food items again converted into various nutrients such as protein, fat, energy, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins with the help of literature published by the National Institute of Nutrition Hyderabad. Finally actual availability of nutrients per head per day has been compared with the Recommended Dietary Allowances as suggested in Gopalan and others. Out of total 144 Tharu villages in the study area, 15% sample villages (22 villages) and 907 sample households were selected for detailed study. The diet of the Tharu people is mainly based on cereals with little quantity of vegetables. Generally diets are monotonous and restricted in nature and variety. The food intake of the Tharu population was qualitatively lower than the standard requirement. As a result the intake of protein, fat, carbohydrates, energy, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, niacin, and ascorbic acid is 13.4, 44.6, 20.62, 25.33, 27.48, 14.28, 61.27, 19.15, 14.4, 62.14, 9.64, and 86.02% respectively below the standard requirement. Out of total sample population, about 10.26% people were found unhealthy in one case to another. An attempt has been made here to study the socio-economic and nutritional status of the marginal people like scheduled tribe population of Uttarakhand. Tharu tribe is the main tribe of the state has been selected for the detailed study. Some feasible measures for overall improvement of Tharu population are suggested at the end.


Socio-cultural environment Nutritional environment Scheduled tribe Tharu habitat Uttarakhand Recommended dietary allowance Departure 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyM. B. Govt. P. G. CollegeHaldwani, NainitalIndia
  2. 2.G. I. C. RamakChampawatIndia

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