Poor show by India on child well-being, says report


New Delhi : With 1.25 million infant deaths annually and 42 percent of the kids being underweight, India has slipped in the area of child well-being in the last 15 years, according to a report released Thursday.

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The Child Development Index (CDI) released by NGO Save the Children showed that Japan is the best place in the world to be a child while Somalia is the worst.

The report noted that while many countries in the world made remarkable progress in child health, education and nutrition – the three premises that form the basis of this report – India slipped by 12 ranks between 1995 and 2010.

The report made an aggregate analysis of the CDI in three time periods – 1995-1999, 2000-2004 and 2005-2010.

India’s poor performance comes in the context of as many as 127 countries improving their scores between 1995 and 2010.

“Our global child development report shows that out of the 141 countries that have been ranked, India with its CDI rank at 112 (out of 141 countries) in 2005-10 is among the only 14 whose rank has dropped,” said Thomas Chandy, CEO, Save the Children, India.

According to figures, 1.25 million infants die in India annually and 42 percent of children are underweight.

“It is a wake-up call for us. Save the Children has reiterated that economic progress must result in inclusive growth for all, especially the poor and the marginalised,” he said.

The CDI, launched in 2008 as a tool to monitor the progress in child well-being, ranks the best and worst places to be a child and improvements in the field at the global level.

It measures the number of children in school, the under-five mortality rates and he number of underweight children.

The 2012 edition of CDI also showed that the lives of children around the world, in the indicators we measured, improved by more than 30 percent.

“This means that the chances of a child going to school were one-third higher, and the chances of an infant dying before their fifth birthday were one-third lower at the end of the 2000s than a decade before. During this period child well-being improved in 90 percent of the countries surveyed,” the report said.