The fifth National Family Health Survey’s findings make it clear yet again that there are indeed two Indias, as the comedian Vir Das has said in his own way. The India represented by Tamil Nadu has less than a third of the diarrhoea cases reported from the India represented by Bihar. It also has only 40 per cent of the infant mortality rate, and 60 per cent of the fertility rate. The obverse is that Bihar has only two-thirds of Tamil Nadu’s ratio for literate women, or doctors per 1,000 population, but a 50 per cent higher ratio of stunted and wasted children.
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