Sunday, May 22, 2022
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Past, Present, Future: Bihar’s Tryst With Destiny

Over the past decade, Bihar has enjoyed two-digit growth, but Biharis remain the poorest. What makes Bihar so poor?

Past, Present, Future: Bihar’s Tryst With Destiny
Past, Present, Future: Bihar’s Tryst With Destiny

A national MPI (multidimensional poverty index) report by NITI Aayog—India’s apex public policy think tank—released late November, that identified Bihar as containing the highest percentage of population living in poverty among all states, has once again raised the perennial question—why does the state remain trapped in poverty and backwardness, and why do deprivation, destitution and distress define its image?

Using UNDP parameters, the report says that with 51.91 per cent population classified as poor, and with the lowest per capita income, Bihar is the worst performer in maternal and child health, hou­sing, water and sanitation, school attendance, electricity, assets and numerous other human dev­elopment parameters. The perception of perp­etual backwardness, caste-based discrimination, semi-feudal relations of production and distress migration still characterises Bihar.

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