Assam Assembly polls: A look at CM Sonowal's achievments in past 5 years

The 2015-16 NFHS tells us that in some areas, life was already good — 75 per cent of girls above the age of 6 were already going to school and the BJP government has added little on that score
In poll-bound Assam, the biggest northeastern state in terms of population, life for citizens has changed a lot in the last five years, the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data tells us. In 2016, when the state last had elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power, dislodging a Congress government led by stalwart Tarun Gogoi. The 2015-16 NFHS tells us that in some areas, life was already good — 75 per cent of girls above the age of 6 were already going to school and the BJP government has added little on that score. People were already getting safe drinking water, so the BJP did not need to labour much to add more to that category. There have been changes in sanitation: Many households have been added in the intervening period and the credit for this must go to the Sarbananda Sonowal government. But the most dramatic improvements are seen in two areas: Families using clean fuel for cooking, and families covered by some form of social protection relating to health. Both are crucial elements of wellbeing and the table shows the number have jumped dramatically.

The caveat is that almost as many families use clean fuel as the number that don’t, suggesting the Ujjwala Yojana needs to be implemented more aggressively. A large part of the state already had access to electricity, so on that score, the BJP cannot really claim credit. The inexplicable fact is that the number of families using iodised salt has dropped, raising worries about goitre and questions about how this could have happened.



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