Apart from better civic amenities, educational and health facilities, there is one more reason why Delhi attracts migrants in large numbers. The morbidity rate in Delhi is one of the lowest in the country at 17 per thousand population.
When seen in the perspective of other states, the figure is all the more impressive. At the national level, the figure is as high as 99 while in the neighbouring states it is 108 in Uttar Pradesh, 107 in Punjab, 87 in Haryana and 72 in Rajasthan.
"The proportion of ailing persons in Delhi is lowest amongst all the states and comparable to several developed countries of the world," Finance and Planning Minister AK Walia said on Thursday. He was speaking to reporters after releasing a report on "Morbidity, healthcare and condition of the aged", prepared by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Delhi government.
There is another startling finding suggesting that fewer people in Delhi are reporting sick. The percentage of persons reporting illness in the city, reduced from 3.1 percent in 1995-96 to 1.7 percent in 2004 when the National Sample Survey was carried out. Interestingly, at the national level, the percentage of people reporting illness increased from 4.1 to 9.9 percent in the corresponding period.
For the senior citizens (above 60 years), the survey has some disturbing figures. It found that there are 8.3 lakh aged persons in the city comprising of 5.5 percent of the total population. Of these, 55 percent are fully dependent on others for economic support and only 37 percent were economically not dependent on others.
Loneliness of the elderly came out strongly in the survey report. It found that of the 8.3 lakh senior citizens, about 40 percent of the children (married sons) are residing separately in the same building where their aged persons are living. In case of 29 percent, the children were residing at other places in Delhi than the residence of their parents. In another 29 percent, the children were living outside the city.
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