Highlight: Introducing the Western Region of India which includes Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Goa. Also, discussing the problems of the region mainly focusing on unemployment and medical issues.
The mouth-watering Pav Bhaji from Maharashtra. Or the lip-smacking dhokla, and Khakra of Gujarat. Also the Goa’s Goan Fish Curry or the great bowl of Poha from Madhya Pradesh. How can one forget the dal bati churma of Rajasthan? The list is incomplete without the mention of Muthia and Tilgur of Chattisgarh.
Indeed, it is the Western Region of India. Gujarat and Maharashtra are among the top 5 states contributing to the Indian GDP. The region contributes to 24% of the national GDP of the country as of 2006.
Interestingly, agriculture employs most people in the region whereas services have the largest share in total GDP.
Despite the modernization and developments in the major cities of the west, it has its problems to deal with.
Mumbai, the largest city in Maharashtra suffers from floods, cyclones, and poor infrastructure. Gujarat deals with poor education facilities and low-income opportunities for the masses. Significantly, Goa lacks all year income source as it is mainly a tourist spot. Thus, to summarize the major problems in the western region are unemployment issues, poor medical infrastructure, poor condition of rural women, and crime-related issues for instance. Besides the law and order, the crime rates against women have increased.
In this article, we have discussed the major the two major concerns.
Let’s discuss the problems and the solutions that will be feasible.
As per an analysis by the Centre for Economic Data and Analysis (CEDA) based on the International Labour Organization’s(ILO) database, India’s unemployment rate in the year 2020 has been the highest ever since 1991. India’s employment rate has sharply increased to 7.11 percent in 2020.
The first wave of COVID-19 brought strict lockdown norms from the central government. The covid scenario was worst in Mumbai, Pune, and Ahmedabad in the western part. Thus, the western region saw extended lockdowns and travel restrictions. Many people lost their jobs and unemployment rates swore high.
Also, the Mumbai slums have resulted in poor living standards of the state.
The unemployment rate in the western region:
- Chhattisgarh – 8.3
- Goa – 20.6
- Gujarat – 2.3
- Madhya Pradesh – 5.3
- Maharashtra- 5.7
- Rajasthan- 27.6
This data is in accordance with the CMIE as of May 2021. The average unemployment rate stands at 8.8 percent.
With more and more people migrating to the major cities of Western India like Pune, Nagpur, Mumbai, Ahmedabad the unemployment rates are increasing. COVID-19 has proved to be the worst hit.
The manufacturing units, service providers are unable to retain the job positions. Thus making employees more and more vulnerable.
What is the solution?
Well, as things are interrelated no direct solution can be given. But the state and the central government should come up with financial aids and support the companies. The companies need to survive only then post-pandemic we will see more job opportunities.
The Central Government under the Atmanirbhar Abhiyan came up with policies to support the economy.
2. Inadequate Medical Facilities
India as a demographic hasn’t been performing great in terms of medical infrastructure and facilities.
This fact is very well evident from the graph below.
Furthermore, the second wave of the global pandemic exposed the incapability of the medical system.
Private healthcare is expensive and is costly or unbearable for many poor households. Thus the only option is public healthcare.
According to the data from National Health Profile 2019, it is evident
- In India, 7,13,986 total government hospital beds are available.
- Which results in 0.55 beds per 1000 population.
- The situation is worst for senior citizens making them more vulnerable. 5.18 beds per 1000 population.
The medical facilities in the western part of India are not great. States for example Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh lie below the national level figure (0.55 beds per 1000 population).
The western region of India contributes to around 30% of the population. We can see that these states saw the peak of both the waves of the pandemic. Statistically, approximately 57 thousand ventilator facility is available in India. The requirement was far beyond that. Hence we saw an acute shortage of hospital beds and medical infrastructure. As a result, people suffered and the pandemic only worsened the situation.
What is the solution?
Medical facilities are the right of every citizen. Proper mapping of the states needs to be done. Regular maintenance with a proper medical team should be there in every public hospital.
Government should ensure no tax on medical services and funds should be allocated to the states. States should give health and medicine the utmost priority.
Especially Maharashtra should be given high importance. Because of its dense population and depleting resources is the worst-hit place.
India is a democratic republic. Hence, every citizen has the right to quality living standards which includes proper nutrition, education, employment, and access to proper medical access.
By asking the right questions and raising concerns to the government we should abide by our duties as citizens of the country.
Also, the government should take necessary steps for the well-being of its countrymen.
Last but not the least, we have the responsibility to spread awareness through social media.
The concerns are predominantly in the Western part of India but somewhere the entire country is facing similar issues.