Based on some readings and a video, I am very amazed with the Kerala’s experience ..
Many people who are not the India residents, such as me, might ignore the miracle which has happened in Kerala..
Kerala is one of India’s states which is located in southwest India, lies between the Arabic Sea and Western Chats. Based on 1981 India census, Kerala has 25.45 million population and the highest population density, with 65.5 persons per km² compared to 2.21 persons per km² for India as a whole.
Even though Kerala has less economic resources than any other India states, Kerala has an extraordinary record in its human’s welfare..
Kerala has very low economic condition :
– In 1981-82, the per capita income of Kerala was estimated at Rs 1448 or about US $160 compared to Rs. 1750 or nearly US $ 190 for India (Khishnan 1985);
– The economic growth of Kerala was 0.3 per cent compared to 3.1 per cent of India (Dreze and Sen 1996).
In contrary, overall, Kerala has high human development index :
– Infant mortality rate was 17 per 1,000 live births compared to 79 per 1,000 live births in all India (Dreze and Sen 1996);
– Female life expectancy at birth was 74 per cent compared to 59 for India (Dreze and Sen 1996);
– Male life expectancy at birth was 69 per cent compared to 59 for India (Dreze and Sen 1996);
– Female and male literacy rate was 86 per cent and 94 per cent compared to 39 per cent for female and 64 per cent for India (Dreze and Sen 1996)…
As can be seen from the above data, the Kerala’s case is very impressive..
Khrisnan (1985) noted the factors underlying mortality decline in Kerala:
– the widespread of medical care within the state;
– the high utilization of such facilities by the population;
– the wide coverage of inoculations among infants and children.
– the education of the mother.
– matriarchal societies so that women have more autonomy to make decision..
However, it raises some questions for me because Kerala’ case is very interesting and perhaps Indonesia can learn from Kerala’s experience.
If Kerala has widespread medical care and education facilities and other crucial public health facilities to increase the child survival and the Kerala’s people welfare within the state.., how can the local government provide those facilities due to the limited budget.. The limited budget can be considered as the major problem of developing countries to provide adequate facilities to their people..
If Kerala’s people can not pay tax because they have low per capita income, it means that the local government does not have any money to pay the salaries of the medical staffs and teachers monthly and to operate the school as well as the medical facilities. If there is a supporting budget from international agencies or NGO’s sponsorships, they may have time limit of the project within the state, probably 5 until 10 year’s period of supporting funding. So it means that the miracle of Kerala can not be sustainable because they are very dependent to additional funding from outside the region.
In addition, do the neighboring state of Kerala such as Tamil Nadu and Karnatuka have any influence to Kerala’s well being? This question arises because we can not ignore the effect of migration between the neighboring states which can be easily happened every day. Thus, it might have some social or cultural impact on the Kerala’s values and system.
I am still looking for the answers..
Dreze, J & Sen, A 1996, eds, The Political economy of hunger. Oxford University Press.
Government of Kerala, 1984, Statistics for planning 1983, Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Government of Kerala, Trivandrum.
Krishnan, TN 1985, ‘Health statistics in Kerala State, India in Halstead, SB, Walsh, JA, Warren, KS 1985, eds, Good health at low cost, The Rockefeller Foundation, Italy.