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Scrutiny
  
No Sensex for death counts...
Not just Sensex, sensitivity needs to rise too
13/12/2007

The irony of two kinds happened just around the same period - Sensex crossing 19,000 mark and India being ranked 94th in the Global Hunger Index (GHI). However, the GHI news was overshadowed by pomp and show of Sensex’s achievement. Most of the leaders and the media were found talking and analysing the Sensex performance but hardly anyone came up to talk on our fall in GHI index. No leader, rather no polity, even tried to initiate any discussion or debate on this falling score at national forum.India was also listed as the leading nation in women deaths (about 1.17 lakhs) during childbirth. When one takes a closer look at these rankings and compares it with other developing nations, it would be quite evident that even the performance of countries like Ethiopia and Nepal is far better than that of India. Even those countries who don’t boast of 9% growth rate have better ranking. Countries like Pakistan, China and almost all South Asian counterparts, except Bangladesh, display a better performance. The maternal mortality rate of India is equal to the mortality of Nigeria, Afghanistan & Congo taken together. Interestingly, if we only consider the HDI (Human Development Index) of the poorest, then India would be ranked among the worst 25 countries of the world. That Sensex is rising and that its increasing nation’s wealth, is indeed something to be cheerful about. But the unfortunate part of it is that even 16 years after the opening up of the economy, the benefits of the liberalised economy is yet to permeate down to the level of the poorer version of India.

If indeed Sensex has to be made more inclusive and meaningful for India, then it becomes imperative that all that ingredients that constitute the rural-urban divide, be it technology, education, adequate food, health and insurance against eventualities be made available not just in India but in every nook and corner of the same. In that case, not just rural India but the Sensex too would benefit from that all inclusive growth.

By:- B&E
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