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Indian J Occup Environ Med. 2008 Apr;12(1):33-6. doi: 10.4103/0019-5278.40814.

A study on health status of women engaged in a home-based "Papad-making" industry in a slum area of Kolkata.



The 'papad-making' industries of India have provided ample opportunity of employment for the women workers of low socio-economic class although their problems are not much explored. In this study an attempt had been made for the same.


1. To find out the health status of the women. 2. To find out the factors, in the working conditions, influencing their health status. 3. To assess their felt needs.


A slum area of Kolkata.


A cross-sectional, descriptive type of observational study.


The slum was chosen by random sampling method. Following this, complete enumeration method was adopted. Data were collected by interview and clinical examination of the women engaged in this occupation with a predesigned and pretested schedule.


Proportions and Chi-square test.


77.5% were in the reproductive age group and none were below 14 years. Most of them belonged to poor socioeconomic status. Sixty per cent were in this occupation for more than 10 years and they spent 5 hours for this work daily over and above their household job. Musculoskeletal problem was their commonest health problem. Pallor, angular stomatitis, pedal edema, chronic energy deficiency were found on examination. Personal hygienic measures taken were far from satisfactory. A focus group discussion revealed their health and family problems, dissatisfaction about their working conditions and wage. Other needs identified were home visits for their health care, free medicines and health education.


Need exists for a participatory occupational health programme for this working population.


Felt needs; health; women; ‘papad’ industry

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