New Delhi: India is the
third worst place to be in for mothers among "77 less developed
countries", said a report released by an NGO Saturday.
India climbed down two positions to the 75th position among 77
less developed countries in the 'Mother's Index' report, NGO Save
the Children said here.
The 12th annual report, released as a prelude to the Mother's Day
Sunday, ranks the state of mothers worldwide by studying the
performance of women on indices such as maternal mortality rate,
percentage of women using modern contraception, female life
expectancy at birth, educational status of women, healthcare
received by pregnant women, post-natal care and participation of
women in government, among others.
"India steps down from 73rd position to 75th on the scale of 'best
place to be a mother' from the index of year 2010 among 77 less
developed countries," the report said.
The report divided the study in three sections -- 'more developed
countries', 'less developed countries' and 'least developed
"Maternal health is still too low on India's priority list that is
reflected in our spending on the health sector. Manpower crunch
and lack of awareness are some of the other problems responsible
for the maternal deaths," Shireen Vakil Miller, director of
advocacy and policy at Save the Children in India, told IANS.
Aparajita Gogoi, national coordinator of the White Ribbon Alliance
for Safe Motherhood, said: "Accountability is greatly missing in
all our policies for maternal health. You have some of the best
policy frameworks in the national rural health mission (NHRM), but
then there is poor implementation and zero accountability."
While Norway, Australia and Iceland top the list of 43 'more
developed countries', Afghanistan ranks last among the 42 'least
The 10 bottom ranked countries among 'less developed countries'
include eight sub-Saharan African nations and Yemen.
"On an average, one woman in 30 will die from pregnancy-related
causes. One child in six dies before his or her fifth birthday and
one child in three suffers from malnutrition in less developed
countries," the report said.