Rakku's Story: Structures of Ill-Health and the Source of Change

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Rakku's Story: Structures of Ill-Health and the Source of Change by Sheila Zurbrigg, Centre for Social Action, Bangalore (1984)


Synopsis

Cover of Rakku's Story
This book turns the usual approach to health analysis on its head. It begins by looking at continuing ill-health in India through the life of a labouring village woman, exploring the forces which keep her from adequately feeding and caring for her children and herself. It probes the source of ill-health, not by focusing on missing nutrients, drugs or skills, but by looking at the way disease and malnutrition are distributed in society - an approach which necessarily sheds light on the distribution of food and all resources, and thus also, the distribution of power. Inequalities within the existing healthcare system thus become a window on the structures and forces operating throughout society.

This study takes ill-health out of the medical realm into the arena of poverty and powerlessness. It analyses that poverty within a social and political context, not as an immutable or inevitable situation but rather as the result of specific and historical forces in process in the country. It argues that the existing socio-economic order which perpetuates underdevelopment, contains within it an inherent ill-health "logic" as well. Such a perspective demands a re-assessment of the relevance of current "primary health care" activities in the country.

The purpose of the book is to shift the attention and efforts of health workers to the poverty - dependency - ill-health dynamic, and to suggest how issues of ill-health can be used to strengthen the broader struggle by the labouring poor for health and social justice.

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Download complete text of Rakku's Story (38.7 MB)

Download the book in parts - Part 1 (6MB) | Part 2 (10.67MB) | Part 3 (12.56MB) | Part 4 (9.72MB)

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