India falls on global child development index

In the wake of a series of grim reports on the plight of children in India, the newly released child development index shows that India has failed to improve its performance on various parameters used to measure the health and quality of life of its children.

According to a new global survey released on Thursday, India's position on the child development index (CDI) of 141 nations has fallen by 12 places between 1995 and 2010 because India has failed to make progress while other nations have improved, the Hindustan Times reported.

India is among 14 countries including many African nations and its neighbor Nepal and Pakistan whose ranking has fallen. “India’s CDI fell by three ranks between 1995 and 1999, by another nine ranks between 2005 and 2010,” the report released by international NGO Save the Children said.

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in south Asia are better than India in the overall ranking with stark improvement in school enrollments and health indicators. “Five large countries – India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan and China – account for about half the global under-five mortality,” the report said.

The news follows a series of grim reports of child abuse, abandonment and neglect from around the country -- which of course is neither new nor surprising. Among the top items, a girl was allegedly forced to lick her urine from her sheets as a punishment for wetting the bed at a boarding school, while elsewhere underprivileged children admitted to a private school through the country's new Right to Education legislation had their hair snipped as a sign of their inferior status.