Sunday, Dec 14, 2003
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By Anand Parthasarathy
To add poignancy and a touch of immediacy to UNICEF s concern, Ms. Bellamy was flanked by 15-year-old Cairo Shamim from Uganda and 14-year-old Abid Ali from Pakistan. They explained how they strived in their own way to reduce the gender divide in education in their hometowns.
The report examines indicators such as health, education, nutrition, infant mortality, HIV to rank India number 53 among 193 nations when a critical factor under-5 infant mortality is considered. Details reveal under-5 mortality in India has fallen sharply from 242 in 1960, to 123 in 1990, to 93 in 2002. In primary school enrolments in the period 1997 to 2000, there were 78 boys for every 64 girls which makes for a better situation than many African countries where less than 25 percent of the girls go to school.
Later, talking to The Hindu, Ms. Bellamy said UNICEF was aware of the problem in India about female infanticide but was confident that the Government was working quickly to counter it. "This is one of the areas where high technology can be misused," she felt.
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