Kottayam: As Kerala registered the lowest poverty across the country in the just-released NITI Aayog report, the Kottayam district has a special reason to celebrate. In the Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI), the southern Kerala district was adjudged as the only district in the country without poverty.
Kottayam district registered a perfect zero in the poverty index. Among the 14 districts in Kerala, Wayanad was the district with highest poverty percentage: 3.48%. Eight districts have below 1% poverty. They are Ernakulam (0.10%), Kozhikode (0.26%), Thrissur (0.33%), Kannur (0.44), Palakkad (0.62%), Alappuzha (0.71%), Kollam (0.72%), and Pathanamthitta (0.83%).
The poverty stricken population of other districts ranges between 1% and 2%: Kasaragod (1%), Thiruvananthapuram (1.08%), Malappuram (1.11%), and Idukki (1.6%).
Social welfare efforts pay off: CM
Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday said Kerala's performance in the NITI Ayog report "is a reflection of the Left government's unwavering commitment towards social welfare."
Vijayan, in a tweet said the achievement would boost the efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.
"As per @NITIAayog's Multi Dimensional Poverty Index, Kerala has the lowest percentage of population who are poor, 0.71%. Our unwavering commitment towards social welfare is reflected in this achievement, which will be a huge boost to our efforts to eradicate extreme poverty," he said in the tweet.
Kerala ahead, Bihar way behind
NITI Aayog's MPI Index listed Kerala as the one with lowest poverty of 0.71 per cent across India, followed by Goa with 3.76 per cent, Sikkim with 3.82 per cent, Tamil Nadu with 4.89 per cent and Punjab with 5.59 per cent.
Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh have emerged as the poorest states in India, according to NITI Aayog's first MPI report. As per the index, 51.91 per cent population of Bihar is poor, followed by 42.16 per cent in Jharkhand and 37.79 per cent in Uttar Pradesh. While Madhya Pradesh (36.65 per cent) has been placed fourth in the index, Meghalaya (32.67 per cent) is at the fifth spot.
The criteria for rating
India's national MPI measure uses the globally accepted and robust methodology developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Importantly, as a measure of multidimensional poverty, it captures multiple and simultaneous deprivation faced by households, the report said.
The MPI has three equally weighted dimensions, health, education and standard of living which are represented by 12 indicators, viz., nutrition, child and adolescent mortality, antenatal care, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, assets and bank accounts.
Kerala performed well in almost all the 12 indicators: nutrition (15.29%), child and adolescent mortality (0.91%), antenatal care (1.73%), years of schooling (1.78%), school attendance (0.54%), cooking fuel (43.89%), sanitation (1.86%), drinking water (10.76%), electricity (0.74%), housing (10.76), assets (2.94%) and bank accounts (4.32%).
Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework, adopted by 193 countries in 2015, has redefined development policies, government priorities, and metrics for measuring development progress across the world. The SDG framework, with 17 global goals and 169 targets, is significantly wider in scope and scale relative to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), its predecessor.
(With PTI inputs)