Inequality of Opportunity in Indian Children: The Case of Immunization and Nutrition
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- Singh, A. Popul Res Policy Rev (2011) 30: 861. doi:10.1007/s11113-011-9214-5
Basic services which are essential for the overall development of a child should not depend on circumstances such as caste, religion, gender, place of birth, or other parental characteristics, which are beyond his/her control. This paper uses two rounds of Indian National Family Health Surveys and concepts of Inequality of Opportunity and Human Opportunity Indices to measure inequality arising out of unequal coverage of full immunization and minimum nutrition for Indian children. The results suggest overall high level of inequality of opportunity with substantial geographical variations. Changes in inequality of opportunity in the two services during 1992–1993 to 2005–2006 were mixed with some geographical regions outperforming others. The findings also call for substantial policy revisions if the goal of universal full immunization and minimum nutrition has to be achieved.