It is widely acknowledged—and sadly to that extent, a given—that corruption and inefficiency are the hallmarks of any development initiative in India. Particularly, when the state is involved—official vigilance reports have pointed to this time and again—whether it is rural roads or employment for the rural poor.
But perhaps the chronic malaise hits home the hardest when the money for basic health goes criminally waste at the cost of the future of India—its children. As the Unicef State of the World’s Children report, released on Tuesday, says, 2.1 million children under five die in India every year— which is nearly two-thirds of the figure for South Asia, and one-fifth of the global number. With CPM leader Sitaram Yechury slamming the government for not spending enough on ICDS, a scheme with a big focus on infant mortality, the question is: How much would that help if the flaws in delivery are not checked?