Education Status of Bihar Education Status of India
One of the most remarkable progress of the Nitish Kumar government is the growth of literacy rate among the female. In order to perpetuate literacy among women, a Mukhyamantri Balika Cycle Yojna was initiated which has played a very significant role in the raise of the status of women. In the chief minister’s words ” among several welfare initiatives taken by our government over the past four years, the Mukhyamantri Balika Cycle Yojna is very close to my heart. It has changed the face of Bihar with lakhs of schoolgirls riding bicycles to their schools everyday with a purpose. Prior to the launch of this project more than three years ago it was rare to find a schoolgirl riding a bicycle even on the streets of Patna. But now, you can watch score of confident-looking schoolgirls pedaling away with gusto everywhere- from the narrow lanes of the remote villages to the bustling roads of the cities across the state.”

One of the major factors for the backwardness of the state is the over-dependence on agriculture. The proportion of the rural workforce employed in agriculture has stooped down from 78 percent in 2004-05 to 67 percent in 2010. This has created opportunities for the female to go for skilled jobs. This initiative will help not only in deducing the rate of girls dropping out from high school but will also prove to be a significant step towards women empowerment.

The second major tool to propagate women empowerment in Bihar was the introduction of 50 percent reservation for women in panchayats . Women in Bihar are now seen everywhere in political circles and at the panchayat level. Bihar was the first Indian state to voluntarily raise the reservation of seats for women in panchayats and district boards to 50 percent. This initiative had inspired various other Indian states as well. The 50 percent reservation given to women in panchayats has had a positive influence which gave them the confidence to shed away their inhibitions and come forward by breaking the shackles of dependency. Panchayat election in the year 2011 witnessed the enrolment of three lakh women candidates from the entire state. These members are making a change in society.

The chief minister of Bihar has shown appreciative change of perspective as compared to the other politicians when it comes to the cause of and tools of preventing rape. He strongly expresses his unorthodox views that rape is the result of a perverted and sick mindset. It is of vital importance to change the outlook of man regarding women. It is remorsefully unfair to put conditions on only 50 percent of the population to watch their behaviour and dressing sense in public, are the views upheld by the chief minister.

Therefore good governance is not only a conjecture in present day Bihar but the government stands firm on their plans of changing the status of women in the state. The government has taken serious actions in various zones to promote welfare of women and plans to continue the positive work in the future to eradicate the continuous evils against women.

If you educate a man you educate an individual but if you educate a woman you educate an entire nation” and this is the single most important thing that our country needs to understand at this moment.As a result, a large gender gap emerges which was highlighted in the 2011 census that showed the male literacy rate to be 82.14% while for females it lags behind at 65.46%. Although getting the girl child to enroll in primary schools seems to be most problematic, once enrolled, girl children are more likely to continue their primary education. At the secondary level of education, girls tend to drop out more than boys, again posing a challenge to retain the girl child for secondary education. In our so-called ‘modern India’, estimates show that for every 100 girls in rural India only a single one reaches class 12 and almost 40% of girls leave school even before reaching the fifth standard and more than 15% children in schools can’t read a simple story in Hindi, our national language.

The differences between the positions of men and women in the society will not lessen; leave alone disappear, as long as there are differences between the education levels of men and women. We must realize that going to school is one thing, on the other hand, the quality of education that one gets is another. Within government schools- overcrowded classrooms, absent teacher, unsanitary conditions are common complaints and can cause parents to decide that it is not worth their child going to school. A 2010 report conducted by the National Council for Teacher Education estimated that an additional 1.2 million teachers were needed to fulfil the RTE act requirements and merely 5 % of government schools complied with all the basic standards and infrastructure set by the act. Moreover40% of classrooms had more than 30 students and over 60% didn’t have any electricity and over 21% of the teachers were not professionally trained. Although much work has been done to improve the state of education in India, we are still a long way off from attaining standards comparable even to other developing nations.

India is ranked 105 amongst 128 countries in its Education for All Development Index. There is much work to be done to enhance education in India; particular attention is warranted to women’s access to education. An attempt has to be made to remove the social, psychological and structural barriers, for the participation of the majority of women in education. Even though the Government and various voluntary organizations are engaged in several attempts to sensitise the local population to the need for women education, unless parents of the girl child see value and merit in sending the girl child to school, they will resist doing so and instead prefer to use her help in household chores or agricultural activities.

It is absolutely vital that we incorporate the belief among women that they must stand on their two feet and the only feasible way to achieve this is through education and its proper utilization. One way to make the families more interested is by making the school come to them rather than sending their girls to school far away from home by implementing more mobile schools across rural India.

 

Health Status of Bihar Health Status of India
This article presents an overview of the health situation in Bihar for the last 50 years. Although demographic improvements have been noted in the past years, the incidence of various diseases remains high and socioeconomic status low in Bihar. Protein-energy malnutrition, nutritional anemia and blindness are common. Safe drinking water and sanitary facilities are still not available to a large number of people. Furthermore, a number of communicable diseases are prevalent in the country. This is exemplified in the Kala-azar or visceral leishmaniasis epidemic in 1992, which reported 75,523 cases and 1417 deaths. Kala-azar cases have started rising again since 1996, and it is estimated that there might be another epidemic in the first decade of the 21st century if the situation is allowed to continue. Other infectious diseases, which threaten the health situation in Bihar, are malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy, and HIV/AIDS. Moreover, population and decadal growth rate have more than doubled over the last 40 years. Maternal mortality remains very high, but survival chances of children have increased due to immunization and other programs. In general, it was demonstrated that the present health situation in Bihar is a matter of grave concern, and requires an urgent solution. The life expectancy at birth has increased from 49.7 years in 1970–1975 to 67.9 years in 2010–2014. For the same period, the life expectancy for females is 69.6 year and 66.4 years for males. In 2018, the life expectancy at birth is said to be 69.1 years.

The infant mortality rate has declined from 74 per 1,000 live births in 1994 to 37 per 1,000 live births in 2015. However, the differentials of rural (41) and urban (25) as of 2015 are still high.

In 2016, the infant mortality rate was estimated to be 34.6 per 1,000 live births.

The under-five mortality rate for the country was 113 per 1,000 live births in 1994 whereas in 2018 it reduced to 41.1 per 1,000 live births.

The maternal mortality ratio has declined from 212 per 100 000 live births in 2007–2009 to 167 per 100 000 live births in 2011–2013. However, the differentials for state Kerala (61) and Assam (300) as of 2011–2013 are still high. In 2013, the maternal mortality ratio was estimated to be 190 per 100 000 live births.

The total fertility rate for the country was 2.3 in rural areas whereas it has been 1.8 in urban areas during 2015.

The most common cause of disability adjusted life years lost for Indian citizens as of 2016 for all ages and sexes was ischemic heart disease (accounting for 8.66% of total DALYs ), 2nd chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (accounting for 4.81% of total DALYs), 3rd diarrhea (accounting for 4.64% of total DALYs) and 4th lower respiratory infections (accounting for 4.35% of total DALYs).

As per the figures about the child mortality rate which is quite a big hurdle for the government, the 2nd most common cause of DALYs lost for children under 5 years of age was diseases like diarrhea, lower respiratory tract infections and other communicable diseases (accounting for 22,598.71 DALYs per 100 000 population) as of 2016 which can be preventable.

Literacy Rate of Bihar Literacy Rate of India
Bihar stands third from the bottom among the states with low literacy rate, as per the National Statistical Office (NSO) of India report released recently.
With 70.9% overall literacy rate, Bihar was 6.8% lower than the national average of 77.7%. Andhra Pradesh was at the bottom with 66.4% literacy rate, followed by Rajasthan with 69.7%.The report on ‘Household Social Consumption: Education in India as part of 75th round of National Sample Survey — from July 2017 to June 2018’ of Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation provides state wise detail of literacy rate among the persons aged seven years and above.As per the report, the female literacy rate in rural Bihar stood at 58.7% while it was 75.9% in urban areas.

However, the male literacy rate in both rural and urban areas was higher than female with 78.6% and 89.3%, respectively. The overall rural literacy rate in Bihar was 69.5% whereas urban literacy stood at 83.1% among those of 7 years and above age.
Around 36.4% people are illiterate in Bihar while 19.2% are literate up to primary school level, 14.3% up to middle, 16.5% secondary, 7.7% higher secondary and 6% up to graduation and above level. The female illiteracy rate is almost 21% higher than males, which is 47.7%.

There was only 3.2% female education up to graduate and above level against the corresponding 6% among males. The dropout percentage in Bihar was 30.5% while 23% never enrolled and 46.4% were attending classes in 2017-18, as per the report. Education minister Krishna Nandan Prasad Verma told this newspaper on Tuesday that the dropout ratio in Bihar had reduced to 0.2- 0.5% and only 1% kids were out of schools, as per a recent survey of the department.

“The main reason behind the decline in dropout is better quality of education system, teaching and several state government schemes like providing bicycle, textbooks, midday meal and scholarships,” he said.

“Around 60,000 children of migrant labourers were admitted from lower primary school to secondary level in less than two months. The number of enrolments has been increasing every day,” he said.

The minister said since higher secondary schools have opened in all the blocks the government was focusing more on girl’s education. Verma said the state government provides Rs54,100 to a girl from her birth till graduation.

Around 94.5% schools have primary classes (I to V), 72% have upper primary classes and only 30.2% schools have secondary level classes in less than 1km distance in rural areas.
In urban areas, there are 94% schools having primary classes in less than 1km distance, while 81.6% and 61.8%, schools have upper primary and secondary classes respectively in that category.

Verma said, “Once the schools reopen, the officials will again conduct a fresh survey of the enrolments, dropouts and literacy rate among other parameters.

Literacy in India is a key for socio-economic progress, Despite government programmes, India’s literacy rate increased only “sluggishly”. The 2011 census, indicated a 2001–2011 decadal literacy growth of 9.2%, which is slower than the growth seen during the previous decade. An old analytical 1990 study estimated that it would take until 2060 for India to achieve universal literacy at then-current rate of progress.

Census of India pegged average literacy rate to be 74.4% in 2011 while National Statistical Commission surveyed literacy to be 77.7% in 2017–18. Literacy rate in urban areas was higher 87.7% than rural areas with 73.5%. There is a wide gender disparity in the literacy rate in India ans effective literacy rates (age 7 and above) was 84.7% for men and 70.3% for women. The low female literacy rate has a dramatically negative impact on family planning and population stabillisation efforts in India. Studies have indicated that female literacy is a strong predictor of the use of contraception among married Indian couples, even when women do not otherwise have economic independence. The census provided a positive indication that growth in female literacy rates (11.8%) was substantially faster than in male literacy rates (6.9%) in the 2001–2011 decadal period, which means the gender gap appears to be narrowing.

 

India’s literacy rate is at 75%. Kerala has achieved a literacy rate of 93.91%. Bihar is the least literate state in India, with a literacy of 63.82%. Several other social indicators of the two states are correlated with these rates, such as life expectancy at birth (71.61 for males and 75 for females in Kerala, 65.66 for males and 64.79 for females in Bihar), infant mortality per 1,000 live births (10 in Kerala, 61 in Bihar), birth rate per 1,000 people (16.9 in Kerala, 30.9 in Bihar) and death rate per 1,000 people (6.4 in Kerala, 7.9 in Bihar).

Every census since 1881 had indicated rising literacy in the country, but the population growth rate had been high enough that the absolute number of illiterate people rose with every decade. The 2001–2011 decade is the second census period (after the 1991–2001 census period) when the absolute number of Indian illiterate population declined (by 31,196,847 people), indicating that the literacy growth rate is now outstripping the population growth rate.

Six Indian states account for about 70% of all illiterates in India: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh (including Telangana) and West Bengal. Slightly less than half of all Indian illiterates (48.12%) are in the six Hindi-speaking states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

Marital Status of Bihar Marital Status of India
Women in Bihar tend to marry at an early age. Forty-six percent of women age 15ñ19 are
already married. Age at marriage is much lower in rural areas than in urban areas. In rural areas,
one-half (50 percent) of women age 15ñ19 are married, compared with only about one-quarter
(24 percent) in urban areas. Older women are more likely than younger women to have married
at an early age: 59 percent of women who are now age 45ñ49 married before they were 15,
compared with 24 percent of women age 15ñ19. Although this indicates that the proportion of
women who marry young is declining rapidly, the majority of women in Bihar still marry before
reaching the legal minimum age of 18 years. On average, women are five years younger than the
men they marry.

India has one of the largest proportions of population in the younger age groups in the world. 35.3% of the population of the country has been in the age group 0-14 years at the Census 2001. 41% of the population account for less than 18 years of age.

   Census 2001 data on marital status of persons show that out of over a billion population of the country, 513 million (49.8%) have reported ad ‘Never married’, mainly due to high proportion of young people. The ‘Married’ constitute about 45.6% of the total population.

   The number ‘Widowed’ persons, mostly females, are more than 44 million in the country. In the age group 15-49 years, the prime child bearing age group, 81.4% of the women are married. This percentage is high due to lower female age at marriage in many parts of the country.

women empowerment in Bihar women empowerment in india
Empowering women in a society is essentially a process of uplifting the economic, social and political status of women and the underprivileged. It involves building a society wherein women can breathe without the fear of oppression, exploitation, apprehension, discrimination, and a general feeling of ill-treatment that symbolized a woman in a traditional male-dominated society like the one in India.

With the implementation of gender quotas since India’s 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts, the percentage of women in political activities at the local level has risen from 4-5% to about 35-40%. Reserving one-third of seats for women in the elected bodies of rural local governments in India has unleashed a silent revolution.

For the first time, rural women began to participate in local governance to improve their status and acquire a decisive say in matters crucial to their livelihoods. This decision to ensure the participation of women in local government is perhaps the best innovation in a grassroots democracy , contributing to improving the well-being of rural women.

Control over local government resources and the collective power of women have helped women discover their own self-respect and confidence. In the recent discourse on women empowerment in the 62nd session of the Commission on Status of Women, the government of India has said gender equality and emancipation of rural women is a key driver of inclusive growth.

The discourse on women’s empowerment has progressed from viewing women as recipients of welfare benefits to engaging them as active agents of change. However, women continue to face multiple challenges in terms of asymmetrical division of labor, rights, and assets which render them vulnerable to discrimination and violence.

Empowering processes can fall short of promises if institutional spaces such as fully functional local government offices with adequate resources and other basics are not provided by the government at the local level. These offices are essential enablers which help build the trust of the local citizenry in the government machinery. In these spaces, women as elected representatives acquire skills, confidence, and capacities to effectively perform their functions and duties. They learn to articulate their demands, voice their concerns and mobilize resources and assistance in a secure and safe environment.

The Bihar Panchayat Strengthening Project in India, which is funding the construction of local government offices at the village level, has now become a symbol of women’s emancipation and the inclusion of vulnerable peoples. The project integrated feedback and input from women in the villages in how the offices are designed and where they are located.

The World Bank-financed project ensures that these local offices are equipped with separate toilets for women; that local offices are not in a remote corner of the village and there are suitable facilities in terms of accessibility, safety, and connectivity for women; that offices have electricity connections and are well lit with a boundary wall; that there is a place for young mothers to breastfeed and a meeting room for women’s self-help groups.

The whole experience of creating these local offices stands in sharp contrast to the past when the elected representatives (all men) functioned either from their homes or from limited spaces provided in schools or community centers.

In the district of Bhojpur, for example, the President of the Dawaan local government, Shushumlata, has recently made news for her proactive role in organizing the community. Shushumlata has tirelessly worked in recent years to bring women from all segments of the community to actively participate in the Gram Sabhas and Ward Sabhas (formal meetings of all adults who live in the area) and raise their concerns and motivate them to access the services delivered by the Gram Panchayat.

Today, women of the Dawaan local government participate in these meetings without prejudice or bias. They speak freely on issues of local development and feel empowered to demand services. This is a positive transformative behavioral change that has strengthened the status of women in the local area. The visible social upliftment of the marginalized in Dawaan, including the infrastructure development, has improved the implementation of the government’s development programs. This bears testimony to the commitment of the president for collective advancement towards empowerment and social justice for all.

The story of the Dawaan is just one example of the positive impact that women in leadership positions can have. Leadership requires the ability to lift people up. People like Shushumlata firmly believe in empowering those around them to live their best lives.

The lesson going forward is that there is always a premium on actions that can lead to grassroots social transformation . A forgotten institution, like the Dawaan local government that existed only on paper, is suddenly bursting with activities where women do not fear any marginalization or discrimination.

And the physical construction of simple office buildings, equipped with essential facilities, puts a dream together for rural women which is inclusive and participatory while ensuring a safe working environment with opportunities for all.

MORE : https://donate.oxfamindia.org/sites/default/files/Development%20in%20Bihar%20Some%20Policy%20Prescriptions%20from%20Gender%20Lens.pdf

READ : https://asiafoundation.org/resources/pdfs/womensempowermentindiabriefs.pdf

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