Chief Minister promises to overcome the problem
The Human Development Index (HDI) of Orissa stands at 0.404 while Kerala tops the chart with 0.638 followed by Punjab 0.537 and Tamil Nadu 0.531. Orissa stands fifth from the bottom in the HDI ladder, the report released by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar recently.
The Human Development Report (HDR) has been independently prepared through a consultative process by state-based development research organisation ?Nabakrushna Choundury Centre for Development Studies? with support from Government of Orissa, Union Planning Commission and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The report highlighted that the poverty in Orissa was overwhelmingly a rural phenomenon with significant regional differences within the state itself. The report pointed out more poverty in the southern and northern areas. The report talked of slow pace of poverty reduction in the state.
The report said food availability was fairly comfortable yet food security was chronic and the state has been categorised as ?severely food insecure region?. This, the report said was attributed primarily to a vulnerable rural population with poor livelihood access or livelihoods susceptible to natural disasters. In the state while 48 per cent women suffer from nutritional deficiency, over 60 per cent women and 70 per cent children suffer from some degree of anemia.
The infant mortality rate continues to be very high at 91 per 1000 births. This is due to poor professional attendance to birth, high percentage of low birth weight babies and lack of professional post-natal care. In the health front malaria, tuberculosis and gastroenteritis are also posing serious challenges, the report noted.
The overall literacy in the state is close to national average at 63.61 per cent. With 972 female per 1000 male, Orissa has a relatively favourable sex ratio. However, discrimination against women remains a serious challenge, the report said.
Releasing the document Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that building rural and urban infrastructure, attracting private investment, strengthening social security measures and energizing rural poor would be priority of his government.
Dr. Maxine Olson, UNDP resident representative in India, and Dr. Rohini Nayar, senior consultant, Planning Commission of India, were present at the release ceremony. (SJ)