Telangana has made dramatic strides in development indices as can be seen from the data in the National Family Health Survey-5 which was released recently. The data collated and coordinated by International Institute for Population Science using a survey shows how the State has progressed from the time of NFHS-4 just after it was bifurcated from Andhra Pradesh.
From agricultural land holdings, to health insurance, education, infant mortality rate, access to toilets and water supply have dramatically improved over the past few years. While politicians have been railing about increase in the number of liquor outlets and the State collecting vast sums from the sale of liquor shop licences as well as liquor sale, data tells a different story. The use of alcohol has declined in the State in both rural and urban areas. While the consumers of liquor are more in rural areas, they have declined from 14% among women to less than half at 6.6%. Among men, the percentage of consumers has dipped from 61.2% to 51.5%.
Access to water supply has improved substantially from 78.1% having access in ‘15-16 to 98.7% getting improved source of drinking water in 19-20. Clearly an outcome of Mission Bhagiratha, the improved water supply has led to better sanitation conditions. While 51.7% had access to improved toilet facilities in ‘15-16, the percentage of people having better toilets has gone up to 76.2%.
Ironically, the data flies in the face of Central government claim of India being Outdoor Defecation Free by October 2019. According to Swachh Bharat Mission, 13,737 in Telangana are in ODF Plus list out of 14,200 villages in the State as on December 2021.
School education has become near universal with 97% children in 6-14 age group enrolled in school in the NFHS-5 period as against 96% in the NFHS-4 period. However, literacy rate among men and women is stagnating at the same level with 65% women and 82% men in the 15-49 age bracket classified as literate based on education till Class IX or passing a simple test conducted as part of the survey.
The State a long way to go in terms of Infant Mortality Rate with the IMR dipping to 26 per 1000 as against 30 per 1000 in ‘15-16. The UN Sustainable Development Goal is to reach single digit IMR of 9/1000 by 2020.