Ahmedabad: Census data has revealed that Jains in India has the highest percentage of members in the above-70 age group, among major religious communities.Also, the percentage of above-70 Jains in Gujarat (6.66%) is higher than the community’s national average (5.55%).
The general percentage of the populace in the above-70 age group in Gujarat is 3.52%, less than the national average of 3.62%. The percentage of people in the same age group among Jains in the state is almost double the state average.
Jitendra Shah, director of LD institute of Indology, said, “I feel that simple lifestyle coupled with rules has led to increasing in lifespan of Jain community members. They stay away from unhealthy habits and even stop eating at night after a certain age. This helps them to reduce various stomach related disorders. The religion has a number of those such as respect to life, vegetarianism and practices like always consuming filtered water among others, that have played a major role in increasing longevity.”
Talking of other religious minority communities, Dr Hanif Lakdawala, a practising doctor and a social activist, said that the reduced lifespan of the members of minority communities is directly related to poor health services and poverty.
The Majority of the population stays in slums with unhygienic conditions. “The low literacy rate among the community leads to late detection of diseases, delayed treatment and early casualties.”