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Venkatesh Athreya

Education Crisis in Sri Lanka

We, as economists, academics and social activists are deeply concerned about the continuing crisis in the education sector in Sri Lanka. Austerity measures and attacks on social welfare in many countries have been disenfranchising children and youth from education as a central avenue for social equity, leading to protests and social unrest.

Agrarian Change and Social Mobility in Tamil Nadu

This is a study of social mobility over 25 years in six villages in the former Tiruchirapalli district in Tamil Nadu. The two most important external drivers are local industrialisation and social policy in a broad sense. It is shown that the overall effect seems to be a centripetal tendency in agrarian structure, with a movement towards a strengthened position for family farming and for the underdogs in the old agrarian society to leave agriculture altogether, seeking improved life chances in the non-agrarian economy, both inside the villages and in the wider economy.

Tackling Female Infanticide

The heinous practice of female infanticide (FI) is widespread in several Indian states - even in states which boast of a better record in reducing gender inequality. These include the three southern states, minus Kerala, but also Maharashtra. FI is not merely not dying away, it is emerging as a disturbing new phenomenon. That eradication of this practice is not on the agenda of the central or concerned state governments or even of the major political parties reflects the gender insensitivity in our society and polity. However, in Tamil Nadu over the last four-five years, a serious governmental effort is on to address the issue. Evidence from a set of interventions in Dharmapuri district suggests that with political will, widespread generation of awareness and social mobilisation, a dent can be made in eradicating the evil of FI.

EFC's Award

Gender and Infant Survival in Rural Tamil Nadu-Situation and Strategy

Gender and Infant Survival in Rural Tamil Nadu Situation and Strategy Venkatesh Athreya Sheela Rani Chunkath Infant mortality rate (/MR) is a useful indicator of the health status of a population. In India IMR remains unacceptably high. A sample survey of district-level IMRs in rural Tamil Nadu shorn that the crux of the problem is early neonatal mortality compounded by the practice of female infanticide. The major medical causes of infant mortality are birth asphyxia, respiratory infection, premature birth and low birth weight. Better access to health facilities, training for personnel and good quality equipment are required to tackle the problem.