India tops the world in under-5 deaths
This statistic indicates that great disparities and divides still persist in India. India needs to improve access to under-served populations to medical facilities, refocus its health priorities, educate and empower females, improve environment-sanitation-hygiene and have programs for inclusive economic upliftment.
ACCORDING TO a new UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) report, India records 1.7 million under-five deaths - with the country accounting for 24% of the world's share of total number of under-five deaths. Pneumonia is the major cause of these type od deaths. In 2009, about 19,000 under-five children lost their lives across the world.
Though India was on track to become a global power, but her new prosperity had remained evasive for many. Despite economic miracle, many Indians still lived in desperate poverty. Inequalities in opportunities blocked poor people from participating in the growth process and they remained trapped in vicious cycle of poverty. It was blight on a country, which prided herself on having joined the league of hottest growth economies.
According to an estimate, about one third of world’s poor lived in India. Problems such as severe malnutrition; spiraling food prices; ineffectual government programs; lack of access to medical facilities, potable water, energy sources, sanitation; illiteracy; etc., needed to be immediately dealt with, as per a UNICEF Progress Report 2012, titled "Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed", dated September 2012.
India’s billionaires and millionaires have enormously benefitted from India’s economic growth, and they can pledge some of their wealth to charitable causes aimed at reducing child mortality. Quoting scriptures, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed said that charity was a duty, which should be undertaken with sympathy and modesty. Religions should also put their share in poverty elimination programs in the communities of India.
Zed stressed that India needed to create a strong political will and become serious in tackling mortality rates among poor children. Government should put poorest and vulnerable children at the center of their policy machines because they had higher needs. It was very shameful that it was 2012 and there was still a huge divide in India between children from rich and poor families and their access to healthcare.