Poverty, unemployment major challenges: study

Cuddalore Collector P.Seetharaman briefing officials on the human development report in Cuddalore.

Cuddalore Collector P.Seetharaman briefing officials on the human development report in Cuddalore.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: C Venkatachalapathy

Special Correspondent

CUDDALORE: The district human development report prepared by an expert team has identified two major challenges — poverty and unemployment — confronting the authorities. If these issues are adequately addressed, the human development indices will go up in the district.

Collector P. Seetharaman told reporters here on Tuesday that the report was prepared after a year-long study by the Economics Department of Annamalai University in coordination with district officials.

The study had brought to light unknown or lesser known facts about the district. For instance, the population of Panruti has registered a phenomenal growth within a decade.

The report also detected high incidence of infant mortality rate and stillbirths, particularly in the Khammapuram and Nallur blocks. The Collector pointed out that Nallur had a substantial Scheduled Caste population, who were in the habit of marrying off to close relatives. The residents of Khammapuram were averse to going to hospital for treatment.

Hence, the Health Department would have to find out the right causes and take remedial measures such as strengthening the Primary Health Centres and creating awareness among the people.

The study departed from the established practice of applying the usual parameters of per capita income and gross domestic product for judging development. It dispensed with the geographical factor but took up human indices to reflect the reality.

Based on the findings, the performance of the departments concerned would have to be streamlined and wherever necessary the funding pattern would have to be altered, Mr. Seetharaman said.

Project director E. Selvarajan, professor, economics department, Annamalai University, whose team conducted the study, said the report was compiled on the basis of indices such as gender development, poverty, education and other indicators, in conformity with the guidelines of the United Nations Development Programme, the Union Planning Commission and the State Planning Commission.

As per the State Planning Commission report, Cuddalore district occupied 16th place in terms of human development index and 15th in gender development index in the State.

The study said though the district came out of the trauma of tsunami in a creditable manner, it had a long way to go to in achieving tangible development, Mr. Selvarajan said.

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