Social Reform Scenario

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Poverty and Healthcare in India: Post Reform Scenario *Suresh Kumar, Assistant Professor , Doaba college, Jalandhar Abstract The ultimate aim of development is reduce poverty and improve standard of living of all its citizens. For this it is required that all people should contribute and benefit from economic growth. This requires investment in public, which primarily involves healthcare, good nutrition, better education and hygienic environment. But in India it has recorded a secular decline after…show more content…
These reforms evoked considerable debate and controversy, especially regarding its social implications. Have these reforms (consisting of stabilisation & SAP) benefited the poor & the other marginalised groups of the society by reducing poverty and inequality, improving food entitlements and access to other basic needs or they have accentuated poverty and inequality? Have these reforms made health and education facilities more accessible to common people? These questions assumes significance especially in the context of the believe that the benefits of these reforms are largely enjoyed by rich and better off sections of the society. On the other hand the poor and marginalised sections are bearing the cost of these reforms. The experience of several countries, which started the reform process reveal different pictures in this regard. Several African countries that embarked on such reforms failed to stimulate growth of the agriculture sector, which resulted in stagflation in the agriculture of these countries (Greeley 1993). In these countries food prices increased sharply and the real wages declined which resulted in food riots and other social problems. Due to these reforms in Africa, food security was affected, resulting into malnutrition and higher Infant Mortality Rate. In Asia, there was mixed experience with regard to these reforms. The reforms enabled most Asian…show more content…
The gap between haves and have not’s has widened after the introduction of new economic policy. Planning commission has adjusted the poverty line for 2011-12 prices, which stood at Rs.1000 per month per capita expenditure in urban areas and Rs. 816 per month per capita in rural areas. On the basis of this criterion, the commission claimed that there is significant decline in poverty from the level of 37.2% in 2004-05 to 21.9% in 2011-12. If this measure is adopted then even in absolute terms number of poor has came down from 407.2 million in 2004-05 to 269.3 million in 2011-12. But the reality is quite different. Actually it is not possible for a family of five members in urban areas to meet their consumption requirements with Rs. 5000 per month and in rural areas with Rs. 4080 per month, when food prices inflation rate has entered the two digit level. If the calorie criterion is adopted, then 2100 calories per day are required in urban areas and 2200 calories per day (earlier it was 2400 calories) are required in rural areas. If a person is unable to get this much, then he will be considered as poor. On the basis of this criterion, Utsa Patnaik calculated that the proportion of urban population living below this nutritional level has increased from 57% in 1993-94 to 73% in 2009-10 and in rural areas this percentage has increased from 59% in 1993-94 to 76% in 2009-10. It means that there is paradox in the estimates of

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