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Poor Bangladesh out-pacing India: What is “Human development indicators”?

How many of you have heard of Bangladesh?

Bangladesh, named Eastern Pakistan, was split from Pakistan in early 1970 after the war between India and Pakistan.

In the 70’s and early 80’s, Bangladesh was the worst State in the list of the poorest States in the world.  Bangladesh was frequently front page news, particularly in period of monsoon.

Ten of thousands of Bangladesh citizens, living by the seashores and on river tributaries, were found washed out in the ocean and on the seashore.  What’s going on in Bangladesh?

Are the horrors of tsunamis displacing the daily calamities befalling in Bangladesh or somethings good is developing in Bangladesh?

Sure enough, Bangladesh is a flat country on the East India ocean and crossed by mighty rivers.

If you look at a detailed map, you discover that Bangladesh is a vast delta of river tributaries and swamps, deep for hundreds of miles within the country, crisscrossing the country.  You may imagine a giant archaic Noah boat, leaking from everywhere and no dry land around for miles.

The per capita income for the average citizen in Bangladesh is half of India ($1550 versus $3250), but the human development indicators in Bangladesh are better.  For example,

The infantile-juvenile mortality rate of people below 5 year-old is 52 per 1,000 versus 66 in India.

Life expectancy is 67 years compared to 64 in India.

The proportion of children suffering from famine is 41% compared to 44% in India.

Years of formal schooling is 5 compared to 4 in India.

Female in Bangladesh are far more literate than in India and are more integrated in the economy and society.

Public health in Bangladesh is much better than India.

In India, health security is taken care by private physicians who have limited qualifications, and increases in the numbers of charlatans and impostors. Many provinces in India lack public health institutions and facilities.

Consequently, although India GNP has been growing at 7% for many years, and its budget increasing 4 folds in two decades, India’s expenses on public formal schooling, basic public health and security, and indicators relevant to human development were comparatively of no match to Bangladesh public relevant spending.   Youth in poor Bangladesh must be feeling happier than those in India.

As side notes, Bangladesh is mostly of  Moslems.

Yet, India has more Moslems than Bangladesh, but Hinduism is the vast majority with archaic caste religious system that rob the lower classes and the “untouchables” from ever hoping to accede to better life conditions.

Can you believe it?  In many provinces in India, the lowest caste class “citizens” are asked to empty the shit pots of the upper classes, while many families of the “untouchables” have their own current water toilets.

Bangladesh was attached to Pakistan by the British colonial power, as Eastern Pakistan, in 1948.  India separated the two parts of Pakistan after its war with Pakistan around 1973!   Thus, East Pakistan got its independence in 1974 as Bangladesh, after an unbalanced war between India and Western Pakistan.

The name of the game is no longer the World Bank criteria for economic development, but essentially the UN human development indicators.  What a State does with its wealth to enhance quality of life to its citizens is what counts.

Note 1:  Statistics and the topic were extracted from an article written by Amartya Sen, Indian Nobel laureate in economics, in the French weekly, Courrier International.

Amartya Sen has published “Rethinking inequality”, “Identity and violence, 2010”, and “The idea of Justice, 2010”

Note 2: This May 2013, 1015 people perished under the rubble of buildings hosting cheap women and child labor for manufacturing garment to multinationals like Gap… Apparently, the government has closed down a dozen of such building meant for habitation, and not for parking a multitude of heavy machines




June 2023

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