The Curse of the Sickle


Forest dwellers are nature’s children and one expects them to be happy and hardy. This alas is not always the case. One prime example are the Soligas of BR Hills in southern Karnataka. Their traditions and life-style that should ensure their sound health also contribute to the prevalence of a deadly disorder known as sickle cell anaemia.The prime causative factor of the prevalence of this disorder is the tribals strong tendency to marry within the tribe. In this brief study, young researcher and photojournalist Shravan Regret Iyer gathers information about other factors that cause the disease. The result is a sneak peak into the Soligas’ life-style, beliefs, traditions, and customs. The book also sketches the pressure exerted on the tribals’ way of life by officialdom and the role of NGOs in striking a balance between their age-old way of life and succour that modern medicine can offer.