The density of population in Bihar (880 per square km, against the national average of 324 per square km) may be high, but in terms of urbanisation, Bihar has the least number of people (15.2 per cent) living in towns, as compared to the national average of 28.8 per cent.
With low urbanisation, it is not a surprise that the 'saas-bahu' television serials have failed to impress the ordinary Bihari. And, more so, because Bihar has the lowest percentage of houses with television!
The State of Environment Report for Bihar, prepared by the Bihar State Pollution Control Board and the Department of Environment & Forest, points out the fact that only 9.1 per cent houses in Bihar have television. This is far lower than the national average of 31.6 per cent. States like Orissa (15.5%), Jharkhand (17.2%), Chattisgarh (21.5%), West Bengal (26.6%), Tamil Nadu (39.5%), Uttaranchal (42.9%), Maharashtra (44.1%) and Punjab (67.7%) have a far better percentage. <b1>
Bihar's poor economic condition reflects even in its borrowing. The commercial bank loan per person in Bihar is just about Rs 50, whereas in its sibling state Jharkhand, the corresponding figure is Rs 122. Maharashtra, with Rs 1,369, tops the chart. Bihar's low borrowing rate is indicative of the lack of business enterprise and acumen in an average Bihari, most of whom prefer to work in government offices.
Similarly, from commercial market point of view, Bihar has the lowest bank deposit (Rs 2,354) per person. Even Jharkhand (where it is Rs 4,866), is far better than Bihar.
The virtual bankruptcy of the average Bihari is also reflected by the fact that only 0.9 per cent of families have four-wheelers and 3.6 per cent have motorcycles - the lowest in India.
The percentage of rich families is also scarce in Bihar where only 9.8 per cent are rich in rural areas and 13.9 per cent are rich families in urban areas - again the lowest countrywide.
As for the revenue expenditure per person, Bihar's a dismal Rs 1,516 against Tamil Nadu's 3,471 and Jharkhand's 2,229.
Despite being one of the most populous states, Bihar does not find better education and health facilities in urban areas. Says the report, "The per capital investment in education in Bihar is only Rs 484.1 and per capita investment in health only Rs 86.2, whereas the corresponding all-India per capita figures for education and health is Rs 586.8 and Rs 157.2, respectively."
Well, this sums up Bihar's sordid saga!
·Bihar has the lowest percentage (9.1%) of houses with TV Only 0.9% families have four-wheelers & 3.6% motorised two-wheelers
·Commercial bank loan per person is just Rs 50
·Bihar has the lowest bank deposit (Rs 2354) per person
·Only 9.8% are rich in rural areas and 13.9% rich families in urban areas