Swachh Bharat and many other Centre’s schemes has helped elevate health and quality of life of the country’s population.(Subhendu Ghosh/HT file)
Swachh Bharat and many other Centre’s schemes has helped elevate health and quality of life of the country’s population.(Subhendu Ghosh/HT file)

Central schemes help country fare better on wellness index: Survey

Women are more empowered than they were in 2015-16, with all states recording a marked increase in the number of women with a bank or savings account that they use.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Sanchita Sharma
UPDATED ON DEC 13, 2020 05:47 AM IST

The Swachh Bharat Mission and the Ujjwala Yojna have paid back dividends and the number of households using clean fuel and improved sanitation facilities has substantially increased across states, according to Phase-1 results of the National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-2020), the most definitive report card of the health and quality of life of the country’s population.

Most states have recorded significant improvements in sexual and reproductive health indicators, including mother and child health, universal immunization, use of contraceptives and other family planning methods compared to NFHS-4 (2015-16), shows data on from 17 states and five union territories released on Saturday.

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Women are more empowered than they were in 2015-16, with all states recording a marked increase in the number of women with a bank or savings account that they use.

Among large states, in Bihar the women with bank and savings accounts trebled in five years, from 26.4% in 2015-16 to 76.7% in 2019-20. In Maharashtra, it rose from 45.3% to 72.8%, in West Bengal from 43.5% to 76.5% in corresponding period.

“Phase-1 results include data on 131 indictors and covers roughly half of the total 7 lakh households surveyed using the computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) software, which ensures quality data collection and ensures there is no ambiguity in the results,” said Professor KS James, director, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai, which is the nodal authority for conducting the survey.

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“The final report is likely to come out in May 2021 as we had to suspend data-collection because of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic in the end of March. But it has restarted now and the fact sheet with data of around 400 indicators from all states and UTS {Union territories} will be ready by May,” said Professor James.

Most states registered a decline in the number of women who had experienced spousal violence (domestic violence) or sexual violence before the age of 18 in the 18-29 age group, found the survey.

India, however, continues to struggle to improve the nutritional status of children and adults.

“The findings from previous NFHS rounds were instrumental in framing several policies to tackle various issues in maternal and child health, adolescent health, child protection etc,” said Vandana Gurnani, additional secretary, ministry of health and family welfare, and mission director, National Health Mission.

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