Bahraich and Mirzapur districts (Uttar Pradesh): "Path mera alokit kardo, naval prath ki naval rashmiyon se, mere ur ka tam har do," Saidun Ahmed, 8, recited a Hindi poem by Dwarika Prasad Maheshwari, a twentieth-century poet, at top speed. "Light up my path, with the morning sunlight light of the new sun, overcome the darkness within my heart."
At a time when Indias sex ratio at birth is low and declining -- from 909 (2011) to 887 (2014) -- there are, in poor, populous Uttar Pradesh, districts such as Aligarh, Moradabad, Mainpuri, Deoria and Balrampur, with sex ratios at birth exceeding 1,000 -- in other words, better than any state in India.
Over 21 years to 2014, the richest quintile -- top 20 per cent of the population by income? -- undergoing caesarean section deliveries in India has gone up from 10 per cent to 30 per cent, raising the country's average caesarean-section rates from five per cent to 18 per cent over the same period, according to a recent analysis of national health data. The rate of caesarean section among the poor has stayed the same over this period: five per cent.
Mumbai: There are about 12 million to 14 million kirana shops -- family-run corner-shops/mom-and-pop or convenience stores selling groceries and other products -- across India (according to a 2015 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, a consultancy, with India Retail Forum), and they are vulnerable to losses from 'notebandi -- as demonetisation is called colloquially. A population, roughly speaking, equivalent to that of France or Thailand, depends on these stores for a living.
Reading and some math skills of Madhya Pradesh students are among India's lowest, the transition rate to higher classes is lower than the national average, a majority of classrooms are shared by students of different grades, and government elementary schools are 17.6 per cent short of school teachers, according an analysis of various government data.