Opinion » Lead

Updated: August 1, 2012 09:20 IST

Putting Kerala to work

Reetika Khera
Comment (40)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
The Hindu

Literacy has helped people in the State maximise the benefits of the rural employment guarantee scheme

Kerala’s achievements have long been celebrated by development economists — high literacy rates, including among girls, low infant mortality rates and so on. There has also been a spate of writings highlighting the ills of Kerala society. Critics have pointed to the high rates of suicides and feminists have also raised difficult questions. While there might be some truth in these critical perspectives, when one compares Kerala with other Indian States, there is no doubt that it has got something right. The contrast between the north Indian States of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh and the southern States (Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu) always strikes me while doing fieldwork.

Positive aspects

Last December, a trip to Kerala to visit districts that had been nominated for the Central government’s annual NREGA award (for the effective implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) brought home that contrast once again. I visited a few MGNREGA worksites in two districts — Alappuzha and Thrissur — and had discussions with workers with the help of MGNREGA officials. Without suggesting that the implementation of MGNREGA in Kerala is faultless, this article highlights some of the positive aspects of Kerala’s experience.

The first thing that struck me was the large-scale participation of women in MGNREGA. According to MGNREGA records, the share of women in MGNREGA employment is higher in Kerala than in any other State — about 90 per cent. I also saw something that one does not learn about from official data: assistant engineers, overseers, data entry operators, panchayat presidents, mates, BDOs — there are plenty of women in almost every conceivable post. Further, a “skill ladder” already exists in some ways. For instance, in Alappuzha, I met a MGNREGA worker who had been elected a block panchayat member.

The second heartening observation was that in Kerala, one sees gram panchayats playing a real role in the planning and implementation of MGNREGA. The employment guarantee act has provisions for grassroots planning and implementation. In many north Indian States, Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) are involved in implementation, but rarely play an active role in the planning process. In Kerala, by contrast, PRIs are strong, with impressive physical infrastructure — a gram panchayat office in Kerala resembles a block office of some of the northern States. I was told that “everything” goes through gram panchayats. PRIs, it seems, prepare annual plans for each panchayat and follow the prioritisation decided in the gram sabha. Block panchayats have standing committees on different subjects. The block offices we visited were bustling with activity and, often, block panchayat members were present. And no, this was not just window dressing for a gullible visitor from Delhi — my presence was often ignored at the block offices.

Third, I was excited to see the range of MGNREGA works and the quality of assets being created. This is a truly remarkable feature of MGNREGA in Kerala. In Thrissur, canal maintenance and sluice gate maintenance were the big NREGA works. Desilting of canals enables them to function for irrigation purposes, and also raises the water level in surrounding wells. Another case of good work was the cleaning — desilting and de-weeding — of ponds in Alappuzha. In Thrissur, the cattle breeding farm under the Veterinary University offers its land to MGNREGA labourers, to grow fodder for the cattle. Soil conservation works and water harvesting works are undertaken with some scientific inputs. For soil conservation works, thought is being given to enhancing nitrogen content by adding certain leaves. Mud compacting is also done to enhance soil quality. Vettiver (“magic” grass) is planted along desilted and de-weeded ponds in Alappuzha. Apparently, vettiver reduces the pollution in ground water (including ridding it of pollutants from a brewery in the vicinity) and prevents soil erosion (I was told it can only be removed using JCB machines!).

With Kudumbashree groups (a State government “initiative for poverty eradication through networking of women's groups”) taking a keen interest in MGNREGA, every possible kind of convergence is taking place. Kudumbashree groups are learning how to farm for the first time. They lease in private land and use MGNREGA labour for some of the agricultural operations. Quite a lot of land development work is undertaken on private and public lands. In Alappuzha, Kudumbashree groups grow vegetables, possibly paddy also. Produce is sold locally or Kudumbashree groups are linked with the “vegetable board” for sale in larger markets. The involvement of Kudumbashree groups and the availability of adequate technical staff (agricultural scientists, engineers, etc.) have allowed such creativity to flourish.

Workers’ testimonies about what MGNREGA meant to their lives were the most satisfying part of this brief visit. Here is one small example. I held a short group discussion in Pariyaram Gram Panchayat (Chalakudy Block, Thrissur) with a group of about 15 workers. The worksite supervisor (“mate”) was a woman. As we went around the circle, this is what I learnt: Omana Hamsa (who worked 40 days last financial year) bought sand to renovate her house; Jayathi (48 days) undertook house repairs; Shaila Sadanan (35 days) bought gold for her children; Shirley Sunderesan uses it towards repayment of a bank loan of Rs. 50,000 for her house; Kamalam Revi and Sheela Balu who had bought a cow on a Kudumbashree loan are repaying it with their MGNREGA earnings; Anitha Sajinan uses her wages for her daughter’s college education and the mate, Jancy Balan, uses hers to pay her son’s computer course fee. There were two male workers as well: Vinayan said he used his MGNREGA earnings to repay a house loan his mother took four years ago, and Kuttan bought himself a gold ring!

Grey areas

The districts I visited were probably the best, since they had been nominated for the national award. Even in the best districts, there were grey areas in the implementation of MGNREGA in Kerala: for instance, “convergence” of MGNREGA sometimes seems to boil down to subsidising labour for private farmers, without additional employment generation. The participation of men is low primarily because of the “low” MGNREGA wage (compared with the market wage). So they prefer other work. The labour market seems to be segregated along gender lines. Delays in wage payments plague the programme even here, though not to the same extent as in the northern States. District officials candidly admitted that payments are made in 20-25 days — well over the mandatory limit of 15 days.

During this visit to Kerala I experienced, first-hand, how near-universal literacy can reduce social distance thereby altering social dynamics and enhancing accountability. Two small incidents illustrate the point. As I introduced myself to the workers at Pariyaram Gram Panchayat through the BDO, I said I wanted to learn about what they did with their MGNREGA earnings. In an attempt to break the ice, I looked at the two male workers and said, “They must have used their wages to buy alcohol” (a comment I hear often elsewhere). The BDO, also a woman, did not find my comment amusing and put me in my place — “it’s not like that, madam,” she said. In the north, BDOs usually distance themselves from the workers and align themselves with visitors. My comment would not have been challenged by a BDO in many other places. The BDO and my roles were reversed here, with the BDO standing up for the labourers. In another incident, after an onlooker corrected my spelling of the name of a village, I felt I was being more conscious while making notes. This suggested to me how similar pressures must be at work for the local administrators too — not just for the implementation of MGNREGA but in all public spheres. For me, this was the most important insight from my Kerala visit.

(Reetika Khera teaches economics at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.)

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I feel the right EDUCATION is the solution to all the problem;
including corruption, poverty, stagnant development, healthcare etc.
Its easier to penetrate IDEAS & INFORMATION if the society is
educated. People naturally realize, why somethings should be done and
why some things shouldn't be done. There by kicks out the need for any
rules(which is actually curbing our freedom). It also makes them aware
of their rights.
And after all, it's not the person who has a gun or a person with
power that must be feared, but rather the person who controls the flow
of information. As long as you are kept in the dark there is not a
chance of you knowing & reacting to it.

from:  Renjith
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 20:50 IST

Its True that the Women in Kerala are the real Beneficiaries of Excenllant Implementation of MNREGA by PRI..Social Reforms,Literacy etc helped.Almost all over Kerala,it revolves around Kudumbashree,,Women Help Groups, with Less Corruption. Rs.150/Day is a Good Additional Income.

A Dole is a Dole,will have adverse affect on the economy in the Long run.Will create a Skill-less Population expecting higher and higher wages for unproductive work like chopping plants in my Garden.(Yes, they do that-Govt Pays for cleaning my Garden).Its High time we stop diverting the funds for this scheme and look at improving the infrastructure.Else,we will have a Rights-Based Society which expects the Government to foot all its Bills.This fund being used for a skill enhancement Program for Rural Women will be a very welcome move. Remember we are the 3rd or 4rth Largest economy in the world Primarily driven by Domestic demand.

from:  Sant
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 12:03 IST

It seems we have learned nothing from the collapse of the soviet
union.The Scheme run by govt handouts has been called successful.Only
god can this country

from:  Satish
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 07:38 IST

Hi, like the article. It highlights a positive dimension in the
national building process. The power of grassroots efficiency and
participative development is keenly brought out. Thanks for the
article. This can be fineteuned as an'Indian model' of inclusive
governance with community support.

Especially thank the author for her insights & observations. She has
given a study in contrast with other states and hence made it easily
comprehensible. Also admire her graciousness in admitting the
embarrassment after being corrected by BDO.

from:  Jimmy George C
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 00:10 IST

Kerala- Leader in producing world-class literate servants to serve under illiterate masters from less-literate states. Three cheers to our so-called education system which rightly states that prosperity is proportional to level of "Education" but works in the direction of raising the level of "Literacy"!!! I hope that Kerala with 100 % literacy (no data about the level of education), is the most prosperous state of India !!!

from:  dhiraj kumar garg
Posted on: Aug 2, 2012 at 19:04 IST

Thank you madam for such a wonderful and positive article.
Before learning from other countries, some of our states should learn from within the country. The condition in Northern state is very poor and getting poorer day by day.

from:  Neha Jain
Posted on: Aug 2, 2012 at 13:01 IST

Thats very nice coverage at the ground level. As MGNREGA have impact
on the roots of our country. it is certainly beneficial for our
future. This is just like the unemployment allowances given in other
countries, which finally enhance the earning directly or indirectly of
rural India as well as urban upto some extent. This should be carry on
in more spirited manner to develop our village, Heart of the Country!
Corruption is the biggest issue in its implementation successfully,
need to make more stringent laws to stop it. finally i would like to
say it is One of the all time best schemes of Govt. for rural India.
Such reviews by media, govt and NGO should be carried out regularly
and learn from the mistakes to make it more successful.

from:  Sandeep Sharma
Posted on: Aug 2, 2012 at 11:34 IST

Thanks to the author for her inspiring piece of article and sharing her ground level experiences (with the locals actually engaged with MGNREGA). It is a testimony of Kerala’s socio-economic development which proves that proper education and giving due right to women will definitely lead us to progress. The high literacy rate of Kerala (which stands at 94%) shows that people are well aware and has helped them to get out of social taboos that were holding them back. Though there are still many issues that need attention such as dowry issues, high suicide rates among adolescents, communal problems, etc. The way PRIs are monitoring and assisting in the planning and implementation of MGNREGA initiatives is highly commendable and the benefits being accrued by the beneficiaries are in turn helping their children to achieve proper education which will help them lead a prosperous life later. It is a lesson that other states must learn and try to do away with the bottlenecks at administrative and other numerous levels of MGNREGA so that it can be implemented in its full spirit.

from:  Debabrata Pal
Posted on: Aug 2, 2012 at 11:32 IST

The answer for kerala development is simple.The goverment formed in 1957
has done a lot of reforms which uplifted the social and cultural status
of the people.You cannot find a master,slave relation in any part of
kerala.Almost all peoples are aware of there rights and they cannot be
exploited in anyway.

from:  reghunathmenon
Posted on: Aug 2, 2012 at 11:20 IST

MNREGA has helped the people of the lower echelons of the people of
Kerala in ensuring their daily wages.But it is the people of higher
standards who suffered.
The beneficiaries of NREGA had left their jobs which were usually done
by their caste and the other people suffers lack of human resource for
those jobs.

from:  Rinoy Innocent
Posted on: Aug 2, 2012 at 10:31 IST

Excellent story. Heart warming and uplifiting the spirits. In my opinion the reason for the success is a yearning for success and definite can do attitude of the people of Kerala. Self reliance is the bed-rock on which the psyche of the Keralite is built. Any assitance to foster, nourish and develop the self reliance is embraced with open arms. Pragmatic and uncorrupted state officials needs to be congratulted for delivering a successfull program. The beneifts of develoment do reach the common man.

Good work Kerala, keep batting.

from:  Mani Sandilya
Posted on: Aug 2, 2012 at 09:05 IST

Any act or scheme of any government is always meant for some good to
society.But is up to the mentality of peoples of society that how they
are taking that.So if north Indians also want to get benefit from such
scheme they just have to change their mind to positive side.

from:  sunil shah
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 22:05 IST

MGNREGA of the Central government and Kudumbasree program of Kerala state government have helped the rural people, especially women in the villages, reducing poverty. Kerala was the cleanest state. Now garbage everywhere is the norm. It is surprising that with outstanding performance in rural and social development, education, employment and reduced infant mortality, Kerala remians at the top of crime, suicide, road accidents and liquor consumption rates. The crime rate in Kerala is twice that of rest of India. The crime rate in Kochi is six times that of other cities in India. Crime against women is increasing. Violence, bandhs, strikes, hartals, demonstrations, intimidations and jathas are the weapon of choice of the politicians, students and labour, encouraging violence and destruction of public and private property, strangling the normal life of the public. Achievements of Kerala is in the eyes of the beholder! Is the glass half full or half empty?

from:  Davis K. thanjan
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 21:41 IST

Reetika khera,deserves kudos and wholesome appreciation for the article,
which is a big relief for news readers who are used to reading articles
about accidents,robberies,rapes,loot of the exchequer by the usual
politician,an indifferent administrative system and lousy
infrastructure.Its a BIG relief to read such articles and welcome always
some of these positive developments reported in the press.

from:  Giriaj.G.
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 21:34 IST

I am a native of kerala and I have hands on experience of poeple working under such rural developmental schemes effectively.Even in my village,women folk are seen actively engaging in activities such as cleaning canals ,clearing roadside bushes and other projects collectively warding off any social, political and religious differences.It is great and such heartening scenes can only be seen in kerala that makes it literally a 'god's own country'.
many a woman came forward in walks of life and their role in the society is very vital, contrary to many of their male partners who run away from familial responsibilities being addicted to heavy drinking.
I don't agree with the comments made by some readers about providing work such as cleaning canals and roads rather than developing their skill susing tax payers money.In my view,as of now, the income from these schemes is used for their improvement in society unlike it being looted and misused in several other ways.
kudos to the writer

from:  divakaran pallikunnil
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 21:19 IST

@ Balasundar: Regarding Kerala's high literacy:
One hypothesis is that the Christian missionaries established schools and provided education for all. Second is the role of Communist intelligentsia which paved way for an interest in literature and academics among the common. And finally, the political decision for providing mass literacy by organising camps, and contact classes.

from:  Padmakumar Rao
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 20:24 IST

Reethika's candid potrayal with deep insight is highly appreciable. May Kerala's example be well taken by the whole country.

from:  Karthikeyan
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 17:42 IST

It is a good success story .This credit of MGNREGA implementation's
success mainly goes to community based organisation -Kudumbashree's by
its involvement .Roadblock for merit is coming from well-established structures of Government,that would be timely updated according to
policies and programs of country to maximise the benefits from the same

from:  jose vattakuzhy
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 17:34 IST

I am very much delighted after reading this article. I always knew that
Kerala has high literacy rate. but its impact are so overwhelming. Hope
whole of the country (People) starts behaving like the BDO's of Kerla.

from:  Ruthambharaa
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 17:05 IST

I suggest that the writer visits Attappady in Palakkad district next time. The local
officials may even turn down if the writer requests a visit to the area. It is the largest
tribal area in Kerala, neglected in all aspects. Even safe drinking water and road
facilities are unavailable in many villages. Many development projects, including
rural employment guarantee scheme and and other tribal development projects
funded by international donors have also contributed to the erosion of tribal culture
and a sharp increase in alcoholism among young and old tribal men and women.

from:  Sathya
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 17:04 IST

An erudite article by Reetika Khera. This case study stands as a role model for many other states. Education should be certainly made mandatory to see a 'developed India'.

from:  Bharadwaj Sista
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 16:49 IST

The author has presented a very interesting account of her visit to Kerala. And it is good to notice that she has mentioned so many positives that have come out of the MGNREGA scheme. The comments by my fellow readers too have highlighted mostly the positive impact the scheme has had on the lives of rural dwellers. But it is disappointing to see a couple of adverse comments too condemning the scheme to be nothing but dole. It is depressing to come across sceptics even when something nice is being talked about. I think, with all due respect, these people should take a more pragmatic approach and realise that this scheme, although not drastic, indeed is rendering huge support to those involved. There is no reason to condemn it as dole issued by the govt whose duty it is to generate employment.

from:  Balagopal P. Menon
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 15:54 IST

Intent of any scheme is always good. Problem lies in implementation of that scheme. Well educated people understand more of their rights. In addition; non-corrupt administrative environment; prove to be a boon for such schemes. If all Indian states understand the importance of education, as an important human resource development tool, they can do even far better than Kerala.

from:  Paramvir Singh
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 14:44 IST

Hats off to Madam's insight and it is indeed a great analysis. Normally in Kerala, many times the real core of such articles will be sunk in local politics but madam's approach was truely an impartial one that any reader can appreciate.

This gives a relief to Keralites and well wishers of kerala especially when National crime record bureau's recent statistics have raised concern over much acclaimed Kerala model development.

from:  VBS Guptan
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 14:44 IST

MGNREGA will be great successful as mentioned in the article as a second point that if PRI's properly plan and implement the activities that have to be covered in rural and agriculture areas of India. This can be only possible with participation of GOI investing more in infrastructure projects and agriculture based initiatives.

from:  manoj p
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 14:32 IST

Kerala achieved high growth as its mind was in right place i.e. "human resource development" rather than development of malls, glass buildings & other shining examples of capitalism for the benefit of capitalists from outside as is the norm in North India. In Gurgaon even though there are 'n' number of shining buildings but the educational development of locals, development of basic infrastructure like power, potable water, motorable roads etc is neglected resulting in violence like at Maruti plant & various riots for power, water. In North politicians think of themselves as chess players who are here to play dangerous games with society (e.g. Indira Gandhi in Punjab, Rajiv Gandhi/Arun Nehru in Kashmir etc etc) & to make tons of money (through various legal/illegal ways) to be locked in Swiss Banks. During elections politicians show-off how they will crush their opponents through violence rather than talking about development of constituency. I witnessed this in UP-2012 elections.

from:  Shaleen Mathur
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 13:59 IST

whenever some one start talking about MNREGA except official who are
in power, everyone starts on very bad note and in fact start
lambasting government.But it is very easy to criticize but how it can
be done impeccably ,no body gives thought.In fact few of them
utilize it as a agenda for political millage.This example shows how
things can be done so perfectly and becomes in habit of
making aspersions.
That is why so many good schemes comes from the government side but
unable to fetch the expected result.Oppsition parties mainly
responsible for such appalling condition of rural development schemes
across.they feel cherish while doing so.Need of hour is will .If their
is a will thier is a way.

from:  shadman ansari
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 13:50 IST

Your excellent capability to see the positive side alone is quiet exemplarory. But let me ask you... why should a lady who can get 275 - 300 rupees for a half day work go to such a low payment with MNERGA. Why the north Indian laborers flourish in every village of Kerala. We have to go to their area early in the morning and bring them home and pay 500 rupees and food for an unskilled labor for a day. Most of the average people in Kerala owns only 10-20 cents of land. We use to keep cows and goats for our own milk requirement and a little extra income. As our land is too small to feed them, we use the road sides and other public area in the village. Now-a-days, every now and then, these workers come and remove all the grass and bushes and we are not able to find enough feed for the cattle. I understood that, in cities, cattle make a mess in public place, but that is not the case in villages.

from:  Basil Paulose
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 12:39 IST

I fully agree with Mr.Prasanth Nambiar comment. You are correctly pointed out instead of wasting tax payer’s money on such schemes, government should explore ideas of how to train these women so that they can increase their skill set that will have a permanent impact on their life and economy.

from:  Bhaskaran
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 12:25 IST

Very useful and insightful piece!

from:  Pradeep Baisakh
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 10:19 IST

A very well written article that highlights the importance of literacy and the benefits one can
reap from it. The MGREGA scheme seems to be a success at least, in the two cities. I
wonder how and why the literacy rate is high in Kerala and how one can go about increasing
literacy across the nation!

from:  Balasundar
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 10:18 IST

Certainly Madam! MNREGA is a very well planned and far sighted scheme to
fit in to our country with dual benifits of asset generation and
generation of employment. Provided that the scheme being monitered and
regulated by accountable people like in the districts of Kerala.

from:  Piyush Pandey
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 09:58 IST

Good piece of news. Thanks to author Professor. I worked in Kerala for 2 years. The very first day I landed in God's own country, I was so happy for the climate. I started searching for someone who can speak Hindi/English. And most of them understands little of Hindi and English. This reminded me of the fact, Kerala has more than 99% literacy rate. Keralites are kind, educated, matured, helpful, cheering people. Love the place and the people.

from:  Raja Pamarthi
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 09:39 IST

I come from Thrissur which is being adjudged for better performance and consequent national award from MGNREGA.The main beneficiaries are women and children at home.You will find students going to Engineering and even medical colleges from the families of MGNREGA beneficiaries.Computer literacy has gone up.Average daily wage for men labourers has gone up to Rs 500-750 per day.Coconut climber gets Rs 25-30/palm and he climbs 25-30 palms before noon fetching Rs Rs 625 to Rs 900/half day.Purchasing power has gone up.Fish sellers come in bike,cell phones lead to better communication and in short Mahabali has come well ahead.Pilgrimage to Sabarimalai(Lord Ayyappan),Guruvayoor(Lord Krishna),Malayattoor(St Thomas)etc are bringing a lot of income in addition to religious fervour.Kerala is a chosen destination for foreign and domestic tourism.What worries me are high suicide rate,high divorce,excess liquer consumption,high crime rate against women and children and mafias of all shades.

from:  Dr K V Peter
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 09:35 IST

Hat's off to Indian women.they have proved once more that womens can do
anything and should not be underestimated.other states should take lesson from them..india is incridile only because of you ladies.

from:  gaurav chaurasia
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 08:19 IST

This field work has helped the writer cause of study. the description on gendered issues and the effective implementation of program's and schemes are impressive to hear about the potentials work at the lower levels(PRI's). i think, not exactly on terms of universal literacy, there are successful program's in Andhra Pradesh in contrast with kerala. generalization on effective implementation specific to places according to my knowledge is difficult.

from:  sekhar
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 08:08 IST

It is true that NREGA is largely successful in India benefiting millions of people especially in poor states in North &Central India. But NREGA is a dole (providing free money) dressed up as a job guarantee scheme. Other than providing temporary benefits to people it has no long term benefits. When I visited Kerala last time I saw NREGA first hand. All women folks in my neighbourhood (even from well to do households, and normally non working house wives) goes out to clean canals, and clear bushes near roads etc. It is true they are getting paid for it but there is no 'permanent impact'. Canals get dirty and bushes grow back in few months! The women gained no permanent skills (remember the old Chinese proverb about teaching how to fish instead of giving free fish?)Instead of wasting tax payer’s money on such schemes, government should explore ideas of how to train these women so that they can increase their skill set that will have a permanent impact on their life and economy.

from:  Prasanth Nambiar
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 05:59 IST

The Rural employment guarantee scheme is a WELFARE scheme. In other words, it is DOLE, it is handout from the government. Is this what the author means to convey, that literacy has helped Kerala people be on the dole? Is that the purpose of education?

from:  K. Raghunathan
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 02:24 IST

In the depressing news about India everywhere, this column was a much
needed relief! I wish all states would try and implement the rural
employment guarantee scheme in the spirit it was meant to be.

from:  Ritu Shah
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 01:01 IST

The statistical indicators like suicide rates in Kerala are based on
"reported' cases. In Kerala, due to the social awareness, literacy,
and penetration of media, almost all cases are reported and taken
into official statistics. I don't think, having lived in many North
Indian states, that anything more than 10 % such cases are reported
to authorities in those states, the reasons being lack of awareness
and social taboos.

If you discount this aspect, Kerala will fare many times better than
other states in all this negative indicators. Suicide rate is just an

from:  mats
Posted on: Aug 1, 2012 at 00:58 IST
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