The primary target population of IROI is the villages of in the Anand district of Gujarat, located 250 miles north of Mumbai, India. Village size varies from 3-5,000 people per village to as large as 25,000 or more. Agriculture is the principal occupation of this demographic with tobacco and cotton constituting the dominant portion of the production. There is also a large dairy and poultry industry in the region. Anemia and malnutrition are the most prevalent diseases afflicting residents and during the monsoon season a large outbreak of malaria often occurs. Certain occupational risks, such as silicosis (resulting from the inhalation of fine particles by industry worker) and brucellosis (a common disease in cows transferred to humans through the consumption of unpasteurized milk from an infected cow), are also prevalent. The healthcare industry in this region, similar to the rest of India, is pluralistic in nature and consists of ayurvedic, homeopathic, and allopathic branches of medicine. There is a subsidized form of allopathic care available to patients at public medical facilities. Most of the large healthcare centers are located near cities, leaving many villages isolated from tertiary care.
Most of the villages in this region adhere to a uniform structure in which the nucleus of the village is marked by a gate. The premise enclosed within the gate is further segregated into various colonies based on occupation or religious affiliation, such as potter, blacksmith, goldsmith, farmer, Muslim, or Christian.
There are several communities that reside outside the gate and are not considered part of the nucleus village. Such communities are referred to as the sim-vistar (sim – border, vistar – area) or para-vistar. Low-caste families usually comprise the population living in the para and sim-vistar.