Poor sanitation weighs down on Tamil Nadu’s development index

Chennai, March 13, 2014: Lack of proper sanitation and safe drinking water facilities have pulled down Tamil Nadu's human development index. 

Despite achieving a remarkable growth in the human development index between 2000 and 2012 due to better performance in education and income index, the dismal growth in the health index has hampered the overall HDI of the state, reveals the latest report released by the Institute of Applied Manpower Research (IAMP). The overall HDI of the state was 0.661 in 2012. It was 0.465 in 2000. 

Tamil Nadu is ranked seventh, while the top five have always been Delhi, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. The HDI is a composite index consisting of three indicators - consumption expenditure (as a proxy for income), education and health. 

"Basically the indices of the state are quite good except that of health. Backward districts lack proper drinking water and sanitation facilities which have pulled down the overall index of the state," AMP director general Santosh Mehrotra told TOI. 

The health index of the state has gone up only by 15% in the last 12 years, said Mehrotra. 

'India Human Development Report 2011: Towards Social Inclusion (HDR 2011)' estimates the HDI for the beginning of the decade, and for the latest year for which data is available. States that perform better on health and education also have a higher HDI and thus higher per capita income. 

"Tamil Nadu is one of the well-off states in the country. Its income and education indices have increased phenomenally since 2000. While the income index of the state has increased by 106% in the last 12 years, the education index has gone up by 44% in line with other developed states like Maharashtra," he said. 

The importance of good governance and massive social mobilisation by state governments get reflected in the performance of all the social groups residing in the state, he said. 

Thus, SCs and OBCs in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala are better off than the upper castes in Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh in terms of various health outcome indicators. Similarly, SCs in Delhi and Kerala have higher literacy rates than the upper castes in Bihar and Rajasthan, said the report. 

"Tamil Nadu, along with nine other states like Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab and West Bengal, had achieved the distinction of birth rate equalling the death rate in 2011. Jammu and Kashmir achieved it in 2010 and states like Odisha and Haryana are fast approaching that stage. Unless the public health system improves, the population growth rate cannot be reduced," he said. (Source: B Sivakumar,TNN)

13-03-2014 | Posted by Admin