Teenage girls Status in Nagaland: Healthier but less skill savvy, says report

Teenage girls Status in Nagaland: Healthier but less skill savvy, says report

State scores overall 6th in all India TAG survey

Morung Express News
Dimapur | December 18

How do teenage girls in Nagaland stand when compared with their cohorts from other states in different health, life skills and other issues concerning the age group.

They are healthier, more educated, aspirational and have better access to other facilities, but less proficient in ‘new age skills,’ an all-India survey of teenage girls revealed. Overall, Nagaland was slotted number 6 among the 28 states covered in the survey.

‘Teenage Girls Report (TAG) 2018′ is a comprehensive compilation of survey findings and primary data collected through direct interaction with 74,000 teenage girls in all 30 states of the country provides such conclusion. The sample size in Nagaland was 1500.

Compiled and published by a Naandi Foundation, TAG Report has some “heartening headlines” on how the teenage girls (13-19 year old) in India are faring today.

What does it mean to be a teenage girl in India? How dignified and safe is her life? Does she have access to water, sanitation? were some concerning questions raised by the survey.

Chief policy officer, Naandi Foundation, Rohini Mukherjee, in her introductory note at the dissemination workshop on TAG Report 2018, organized jointly by Naandi Foundation and HOPARD in Dimapur on Tuesday, informed that the survey findings have also been used to prepare and index to indicate the status of teenage girls in the country –the Teenage Girls Index or TAG Index, the first of its kind in the country.

Others who addressed the workshop included Dr. Tetseo, a senior medical officer of Health & Family Welfare department, Sudhir Kumar Sharma from Naandi Foundation and Dr. Latashori K from HOPARD.

When compared with the national average, the report informed that in the 13-19 age-groups, 72.2% had normal Body Mass Index against national average of 46.3%.

In the case of nutritional status, 85.3% in Nagaland were found to be considered normal when compared with 48.2% in India. While 25% of them were underweight, the case of overweight and obesity was negligible at 2.5% and 0.2 respectively.

85.3% of them had no signs of Anaemia while every second teenage girls (51.8%) were found to have some forms of Anaemia nationally. The prevalence of ‘normal haemoglobin’ level was also high at 85.3% against national average of 48.2%.

In other-related parameters, Nagaland fared well with only 21.1% prevalence of open defecation as against 39.8%. The state was declared OPF in October this year.

On hygienic methods of menstrual protection, the state had high percentage of ‘hygienic’’ when compared with national average at 74.2% and 54.5% respectively. However, Nagaland pale in comparison with some North East states with as high as 93.2%, 93.2% and 87.8% respectively in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Sikkim. Access to drinking water and electricity were also high in the state.

Education and
other aspirations

The survey showed that 80.6% teenage girls are currently studying in India, while in Nagaland it was 89.4%.

Child and teenage marriage in Nagaland was also almost non-existent with 99.2% responding ‘never married’ on marital status. It was 100% in 13-15 age-group while 98.5% in 16-19 years. The national average was 95.8%.

The drive for education was also high with 81.3% wishing ‘to do at least graduation or study for a job entrance examination’ against national average of 70%. Ditto for aspirations about career/job at 82.8% vis-à-vis 74.3% national average.

As per the survey, the ideal marriageable age in Nagaland seems to be 26-30 years with 51.9% of the respondents citing it as “Aspired age of marriage.” 20% said 31 years and above while 14.5% wanted to be married between 21-25 years. Nationally, the ideal age group was 21-25 years at 51%.

New-age Skills
While the state performed relatively better in most parameters when compared with the national level, it was in ‘New-age Skills’ category where the state was lacking behind others.

For instance, while 70.2% of them can ‘Fill forms in English or local language’ and 95.3% has ‘Ability to make and receive calls on a mobile phone,’ searching for information on internet was not their forte.

While 34.4% of the teenage girls responded positively when asked whether they can ‘Search for information on the internet, send and receive emails’ and usage of social media was also high at 40.1%, only 13% of them could write ‘Write a document in English on a computer.’

The national average was 22.6% for same.

Only 30% of them said they can ‘withdraw money from an ATM/ bank/post office’ vis-à-vis 46.3% national average.

The other parameters include asking a ‘male stranger for directions/ help, travelling alone on a journey longer than 4 hours; Living alone and going to a police where the state averages were lower than the national level. (see graphic)