Poor Bengal is better to care for its children than the rich state of Gujarat

R.Ram; SubEditor

NHSF has recently published a health-related survey report.   The situation of Gujarat and West Bengal has discontented slightly the people. The state of Gujarat is richer than Bengal – the per capita income in this state is double than income in West Bengal! But the survey report of NHSF says that the children of West Bengal are healthier and safer than the richer state of Gujarat.  

 The four lakh families from each state of the country had been included in this survey work. 

The National Family Health Survey has released the statistics of the death rate per one thousand children. This report says the death rate of newborn babies in Gujarat is 21.8 and in Bengal, it is 15.5.  The difference in the matter of infant mortality or to say the deaths within a year after taking birth even becomes bigger. The mortality rate in Gujarat is 31.2 and in Bengal it is 22. In the same way, Gujarat is much more ahead surprisingly in the cases of dying children within 5 years of birth from West Bengal. The statistics of deaths in Gujarat is 37.6 while it is in Bengal is 25.4.  

 A report of economic and the political weekly says the two decades earlier (or during 1994-96) the difference of mortality rate of children in these two states were only of 5 which is now of 9. During this period the infant mortality rate was 58 in Bengal; and in Gujarat, it was 63.  

 If we vide the statistics, we find that the difference of richness and the poverty between the two states during the last two decades have increased. 



Even the recent reports of NFHS reveal that the nutrition of Gujarati children is far behind than the children of West Bengal. The survey reports done under the age 5 years children say that 39 percent of these in Gujarat are lesser in their heights in the proportion of their ages and the statistics in West Bengal is 33.8 %. In Gujarat, 25.1% of children were found whose weights were to be in proportion to their height were not so. NFHS survey reports even opened it that 10.6% were those children who were very much down in their weights than their heights while this figure in Bengal is 7%. 


There are many causes behind this big difference in the health of children between Bengal and Gujarat. First is the health services of both states. Bengal possesses the beds to count more than the other states of the country. The government beds here per one thousand are 2.25. Sikkim is a little state in the northeast which holds bigger statistics of 2.34 than Bengal. If it is compared to Gujarat, the availability of government beds on one thousand people is found 8 times more in Bengal. The ICU beds count in Bengal is 4 times more than in Gujarat. 

Strong Panchayat system is understood here basic reason behind the better position of nutrition of children in Bengal, experts say in the matter of Bengal.  

 The prominent parties fight the Panchayat election; consequently, the state government and other parties pay special attention to the panchayat system. It is the reason why the panchayats get heavy funds from the government. Dr. Prabir Chatterji working in rural Bengal told ‘scroll. in’ that strong panchayat system, women empowerment, and better public distribution system – all these are the chief causes which make the children' better heath in the state. He says, “the function of PDS is better in Bengal, and similarly, the educational system in primary and higher schools is better for the women... the local government is much strong in panchayat system.”  the PDS functioning is in the hand of the private sector, which is the basic flaws in Gujarat, say, experts.  

 Well, known economist, Jean Dreze says, “Once there had been strong Public Distribution System and health services in Gujarat, but giving priority to the public-private partnership the strongness over these issues could not be maintained.” He says further, “Whenever it happens, there began to yearn of optimum income leaving the welfare thoughts behind these programs.” 

While poverty is high in West Bengal, but in spite of it, the nutrient meals to these children are supplied abundantly. The big reason behind it is that there is high cropping of cereals, and the maximum peasants crop up their food grains very easily. The causes are that West Bengal is luckier for the fertile land reason. Water irrigation is amply available here because the land is located in the area of Gangetic plain.  

 The union ministry of agriculture and farmers' welfare report says that West Bengal is one of the most food grain producer states in the country. The state is top growing and producing Rabi and Kharif crops in India. the Bengal was the top rice-growing state in the year 2016-17. In this FY the Bengal produced 1.59 crore tons of rice. Similarly, it produced 1.69 crore tons of food grain, which merited its counting at the top growing states as the South, West, and North-east states of the country. the experts say that it is easy to make here food grain available to every people of the state.   

If we talk about it, Gujarat is looked far behind in the matter of cultivation of food grain-growing. The causes behind it are the desertification or to say weathering of more than 50% of the land here. Gujarat is the state after Rajasthan, which land is rapidly turning into arid land. 98 lakh hectare land of the 196-lakh hectare is in the use of cultivation in Gujarat. This week, Vijey Rupani, inaugurating an agricultural project and, said here this occasion that the development of agriculture is a big challenge here because of being a high arid, semi-arid region and coastal saline area and the state government is trying every possible effort to deal with this challenge. 

With the arid land, lower rainfall, and the water shortage for irrigation, the farmers in this state have begun to crop up the fruit, vegetables, and medicines plant. The land of about 4.46 lakh hectares is used here to cultivate the fruit. The state government is promoting the cultivation of medicinal plants intending to escape the farmers from this crisis, and for this purpose, many projects regarding this have been stated. Anyway, a few experts say that the children in rural Gujarat are less fed of food grain than West Bengal because the shortage of lesser production of cereals in the state caused malnutrition of these children. 


  1. The work changed into very thoughtfully achieved and you could tell how thorough and professional the task becomes.

  2. Delfina Barroso30 July 2021 at 15:24

    Learning to love healthy, whole foods early on will set kids up to be lifelong healthy eaters While developing a taste for sugar and salt early will have the opposite effect


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