A new study complied data from multiple United Nations (UN) agencies to understand which countries are well suited for mothers' and kids, and where they face greater hardships. Last year, India was ranked 137 and now it's slipped three places and is now at 140 from 179 countries. It ranks behind Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Iraq.
India is also part of a list of 10 countries with the greatest survival divide between wealthy and poor urban children. The other countries include Rwanda, Cambodia, Kenya, Vietnam, Peru, Ghana, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Madagascar. These were part of the findings of the report "The Urban Disadvantage", prepared by NGO Save the Children and released by Union Minister Najma Heptullah. The report also found that the children of the urban poor in Delhi are 3.2 times more likely to die than their richer counterparts.
The report also analysed urban child survival gap between the rich and the poor urban kids in 36 developing countries shows that in the age group 0-5 years, the urban poor are 3.2 times more likely to die compared with the urban rich in Delhi. The global under-five mortality rate has come down by half from 90 to 46 deaths per 1,000 live births between 1990 and 2013 and the success story includes India.
Heptullah said: "We used to feel that more children are not being taken care of in rural areas. But this report proves otherwise." She said that the health of urban children was an important issue as by 2030 a significant amount of population will be moving to cities. People living in slums and congested areas face a lot of health issues due to poor sanitation and congestion, she added.
Sudeep Gadok, director of programs of Save the Children, said: "The government of India has made great progress in ensuring the survival of newborns, infants and mothers. "For the first time in history, more than half of the world's population lives in urban areas. People are often drawn to cities by the prospect of a better life for their children, but many cities around the world are unable to keep up with breakneck growth, leaving hundreds of millions of mothers and children in cities without access to essential health services and the clean water they need to survive and stay healthy."
The report asserts that there is an urgent need to close the gap in life chances for mothers and children so that - no matter where they live - everyone has a fair chance to survive and fulfil their potential.
With inputs from IANS