2 Of 3 Indian Households Without Indoor Bathroom

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New Delhi, Dec 7 (UNI) Almost two out of three Indian households do not have toilet or bathroom ''facilities within the house,'' a government appraisal acknowledged today.

The acknowledgement came in a Human Resource Development Ministry statement on Millennium Development Goals governments set for themselves in the United Nations General Assembly in September 2000.

''The proportion of households having toilet/bathroom facilities within the house increased from 23.7 per cent in 1991 to 36.1 per cent in 2001,'' the statement said.

The eight Millennium goals: Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, Achieving universal primary education, Promoting gender equality and empowering women, Reducing child mortality, Improving maternal health, Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, Ensuring sustenable environment and Developing global partnership for development.

Experts have warned against dangers of Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

The goals came with a deadline, but no apparent consequences in the event of failure-- except for those whose lot is sought to be improved.

The list did not specify such basic and crying human needs as housing or shelter or even the need for access to a private toilet for women sought to be empowered.

The statement noted that the eight goals pledged by 189 governments translate into 18 targets with 48 indicators.

It said the Indian government has not drawn any separate programme as the Millennium goals are ''quite similar'' to the objectives of its 5-year plans.

Some of the targets-- poverty alleviation, infant mortality, maternal mortality, school enrolment-- set out in the Approach Paper to the XI Five Year Plan ''are more ambitious'' than the Millennium goals, it said.

Here are some Indian indicators it listed: Households which reported enough food for all members everyday throughout the year rose between 1993-94 and 2004-05 from 94.5 per cent to 97.4 per cent in rural areas and 98.1 per cent to 99.4 per cent in urban areas.

Households with access to ''drinking water''-- from a tap, hand-pump or tubewell-- increased from 62.3 per cent in 1991 to 78 per cent in 2001.

India's Planning Commission estimated an 8.5 per cent drop in poverty ratio from 36 per cent in 1993-94 to 27.5 per cent in 2004-05, although, as one published source points out, its standard for poverty line itself is way below the World Bank's.

The number of out-of-school children fell from 32 million in 2001-02 to 7.1 million in 2005-06 and the literacy rate rose from 52.2 per cent in 1991 to 64.9 per cent in 2001.

Female-male enrolment ratio rose between 1990-91 and 2004-05 from 71:100 to 88:100 at primary level and from 50:100 to 71:100 at secondary level.

Infant Mortality Rate declined from 80 per thousand live births in 1990 to 58 in 2005 and Maternal Mortality Rate from 407 per 100,000 deliveries in 1998 to 301 in 2001-03.

As per National Family Health Survey the proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel rose from 33 per cent in 1992-93 to 48.3 per cent in 2005-06.

The Under-5 mortality rate declined from 125 deaths per thousand live births in 1988-92 to 98 in 1998-2002.

HIV declined from 0.74 per thousand pregnant women in 2002 to 0.68 in 2006.

The statement also noted headways against such diseases as tuberculosis and malaria and improved access to telephones and computers.

UNI

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