From the past few months, there has been a deluge of reports about the shining Gujarat and the zenith it has reached in terms of development. However, if we look at the poverty index and incidences of malnutrition, the image the media has created about Gujarat collapses like a house of cards. The Indian Human Development Index showed an impressive gain of 21 per cent from 2000-2008, with the Muslims and the SC/ST showing signs of improvement, but at the same time the report says that Gujarat has the highest incidence of malnutrition among Muslims, SC/ST and women. Out of the total 17 states Gujarat was ranked 13 in terms of hunger index, much below poorer states such as Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam.
Santosh Mehrotra, DG of the plan panel’s Institute of Applied Manpower Research said, “In spite of the high economic growth, Gujarat fares the worst in terms of overall hunger index among high per capita income index.” Hence it is clear that behind the rising and shining picture of Gujarat, there is this gloomy and dingy picture of poverty, malnutrition and unemployment.