Study highlights the other side of ‘Kerala model’

Study highlights the other side of ‘Kerala model’

Special Correspondent


Benefits not uniformly distributed

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-kerala/article2590549.ece

Has the much lauded Kerala model of development taken its benefits uniformly to all sections of the society?

A recent study done by a human rights organisation called RIGHTS, based here, says the Kerala model of development is more of a myth for the marginalised sections such as the Dalit, Adivasi, and fishing communities in the State. The study covered 2,100 families belonging to these sections, living in 30 representative panchayats spread over all the 14 districts in the State. For the sake of comparison, 614 families from the forward communities too were surveyed by researchers under RIGHTS.

The study focussed on two social indices — education and health. The Kerala model development theory is based on the argument that high level of social development is possible even in the face of poor economic growth. The survey found that while the forward communities enjoyed total access to both education and health care facilities, the same claim could not be made in the case of marginalised sections.

According to the study, 46.07 per cent of the Dalit children, 34.47 per cent of the tribal children, and 69.12 per cent of the children from fishing communities do not have schools within one kilometre of their residing places.

Schools are located more than four kilometres away from their homes for 16.88 per cent of the Dalit children, 29.55 per cent of the tribal children and 2.23 per cent of the children belonging to fishing communities. As much as 14.48 per cent of the Dalit children surveyed dropped out of schools at various stages of their school education and 6.85 per cent of them in the school-going age group had not gone to school at all.

The above proportions are 18.06 per cent and 3.93 per cent respectively in the case of tribal children and 15.08 per cent and 5.21 per cent for children from fishing communities.

As much as 36.35 per cent of the Dalit children, 44.05 per cent of the tribal children, and 24.16 per cent of the children belonging to fishing communities have not received vaccines under the Universal Immunisation Programme. Primary Health Centres (PHCs) are located between two kilometres and five kilometres away from home for 35.08 per cent of the Dalit families, 22.93 per cent of the tribal families and 23.27 per cent of the fisherman families surveyed by the organisation. The PHCs are even beyond a distance of five kilometres for 39.11 per cent of the tribal families and 12.34 per cent of the fishing families. The survey reports the same kind of glaring gaps in the matter of taking the government’s nutrition programme to pregnant women and children.

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