Thiruvananthapuram: National Human Rights Commission Chairman Justice K G Balakrishnan has said that the nation's human development indicators cut a very sorry figure as the benefits of the government's various social welfare schemes were not reaching the bottom levels of society. He attributed this to the lack of literacy as well as exploitation by middlemen.
A former chief justice of the Supreme Court, Mr. Balakrishnan lamented that even the right to education that ensured education to the weaker sections of society could not be implemented in the nation. He was delivering the inaugural address at a national workshop on 'Human Rights and Development', organised by the Economics department of the University College on Friday.
"Even when compared to neighbouring Bangladesh, India lags behind on various human development indicators. While only 30 per cent of people in Bangladesh go for open defecation, in India it is 60 per cent. Indian still has 3.42 lakh manual scavengers. Infant mortality in Bangladesh is 40 per 1,000 while in India it is 60 per 1,000," Mr. Balakrishnan said.
He also pointed out that literacy was a key aspect in human development as only literate people would be aware of their rights which they could then demand.
University College principal Ms. C Moly Marceline and other senior faculty members of the college spoke.