Fast Facts - Maharashtra
Child Sex Ratio:
Principal Languages:
Literacy Rate:
Infant Mortality Rate:
112 million


Indias most prosperous state, Maharashtra is home to its wealthiest citizens as well as some of the countrys poorest. Located on the western coast, and flanked by the Arabian Sea, its lush fertile coast is contrasted by its annually parched and drought-prone interiors. Maharashtra is known as much for its busy stock markets as for its pioneering work in the area of small-scale industries. Cosmopolitan Mumbai is not only the state capital but the countrys undisputed financial capital, though about 54 per cent of its residents live in its slums. Tens of thousands of migrants flock to Maharashtras towns and cities each year from all across the country in search of work. This makes Maharashtra the second most populous state with 112 million people. Still, nearly half of these residents live in villages. With an economy driven by textiles, shipping, manufacturing, trade, tourism and the entertainment industry, prosperous Maharashtra contributes 40 per cent of the national revenue. Meanwhile, village economies remain largely agrarian. The state is often in the news in the wake of a series of suicides by cotton farmers. Maharashtra is also counted among the countrys most progressive states with infant, child and maternal mortality rates lower than the national average and improving school enrolment and literacy levels. However, challenges remain in health, WASH, education and child protection. One in four women has no formal education. These low female literacy rates make girls more vulnerable to early marriage. Almost 18 per cent of girls are married before they turn 18 and become mothers while they are still teenagers. Almost half of Maharashtras women are anaemic. This perpetuates a cycle of malnutrition, illness and, often, early mortality. Other cha ... Read More...

Challenges and Opportunities
Maharashtra is leading the way in tackling child undernutrition. An independent survey carried out in the State reported an impressive reduction in the prevalence of stunting among children under two from 39 per cent in 2006 to 23 per cent in 2012, which is faster than any other state! However, almost one-third of the stunted, wasted and underweight children are severely undernourished that significantly lowers their ability to survive and thrive. The quality and coverage of Reproductive Maternal Neonatal Child Health and Adolescent (RMNCH + A) services are abysmally low in selected tribal areas and urban slums. For ... Read More...
UNICEF in Action
UNICEF is working in partnership with the Maharashtra government to address a range of the states challenges. Chief among them is malnutrition. Interventions that promote nutrition in mothers during pre-pregnancy and pregnancy, and early and exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding in children younger than three years, are critical to reducing neonatal mortality, child mortality and undernourishment. Special emphasis is laid on reaching out children in tribal pockets and slums to address these issues. UNICEF is the state governments lead partner in strengthening reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health to accelerate the Call To Action for child survival mission in 166 blocks and two Municipal Corporations in 19 districts whose health and nutrition indicators are below state average. UNICEF is providin ... Read More...
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