Compared to their Maharashtra
voters have lower life expectancy, grapple with higher unemployment, lower literacy, a lesser sex ratio and see more kids die before the age of one.
Despite poverty reduction, some social groups have been left behind. Scheduled castes, in particular, display higher levels of poverty than other groups, said a 2017 World Bank note on social inclusion for Haryana.
The average person in Haryana had a life expectancy of 63.4 years in the early 1990s. This increased to 69.4 in the current decade. This is marginally better than the all-India average of 68.7. It is 72.2 years in Maharashtra.
Haryana’s rural unemployment data suggests that 24 out of every 1,000 people are unemployed compared to seven in Maharashtra. The equivalent urban unemployment figure for Maharashtra is 23, compared to 42 for Haryana. Unemployment has worsened despite rising literacy.
Women also face discrimination in Haryana, said a 2009 note from the erstwhile Planning Commission (now replaced by the NITI Aayog).
The declining sex ratio in the state is of particular concern. The sex ratio was 879 in 2011, compared to Maharashtra’s 929 and the all-India figure of 943 women for every 1000 males. The number has historically been low in Haryana because of problems like female foeticide. Another key social indicator is infant mortality, or the number of infants who die before the age of one. It was 68 per thousand cases in the late 1990s. This has halved to 33 in Haryana, marginally better than the India figure of 34. In Maharashtra it is 19.
The last election saw women finding more political representation in Haryana than Maharashtra. The Haryana Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), in its recent report, noted that 14 per cent of Haryana members of legislative assemblies (MLAs). The data showed that it was eight per cent in Maharashtra.