Steady increase in the number of aged persons is appearing as a major issue in modern India. Ageing population has been increasing more rapidly in rural areas, owing to the exodus of males from our villages giving rise to 'feminization of farming'. Due to rapid migration of young women as well. it is now becoming 'geronto farming, farming taken care off largely by older women. Women have more serious health problems, suffering not only from ailments specific to ageing, but also from ill health accumulated over the life cycle which may manifest in old age in an aggravated form. Older women in rural areas remain particularly vulnerable. Study of human ageing by using anthropological skills is a field offering considerable challenge and potential for future research in ageing because anthropologists are well equipped for such cross-sectional research focusing on the interaction between biological and cultural influences. Recapitulating population trends in our country, there being more women in older age brackets, the authors have made an attempt to portray the general prevailing health conditions and examine bodily age changes among two groups of rural women of North-East India having the same broad genetic make up but exposed to different environmental settings. The results embodied in a wealth of data vividly portray the manifestations of physical health conditions and morphological age changes in older Meetei women of Manipur and Assam. The effects of migration and urbanization, particularly an older women's physical health and their physical attributes are the highlights of the study. This book merits essential reading for gerontologists, anthropologists, demographers, sociologists, social workers and policy planners.
S. Dayabati Devi (b.1973) an assistant professor in Kakching Khunou College, in Thoubal district, Manipur. She has worked extensively on Meeitei of Manipur and Assam. She is a recipient of Pune University research student's fellowship and has undergone United Nation's (INIA, Malta) organized Training Programme in Gerontology and Geriatrics (2003). Her special research interests includes ageing women and their health. Amrita Bagga (b. 1947) received her M.Sc. in Anthropology from Delhi University, and Ph.D. from University of Poona where she joined as an ICMR Fellow, A receipient of UGC's Indo- Hungarian Cultural Exchange Fellowship, she is a Fellow of Salzburg, Austria, and past Vice President of Indian Anthropological Association. She is the Professor and Head, Department of Anthropology, Pune University. For last two decades she has been actively engaged in gerontological research, with a special focus on biological age changes in women. She contributes regularly to numerous journals and has completed many research projects, all on ageing women. In 2001 she introduced 'Biosocial Gerontology' course in Pune University. She is the recipient of Research Associate Award of the Centre for Social Studies and Humanities at Inter University Center of Indian Instiute of Advance Studies, Shimla.
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