A report by Oxfam India has noted that sharp inequalities exist across gender, caste, class and religious categories on various health indicators. Titled "India Inequality Report 2021: India's Unequal Healthcare Story", the report stated among other things that the general category has a better standard of living than those belonging to the SC and ST categories. It also highlights that the rich are better off than the poor, men are better off than women. These findings are primarily based on the National Family Health Survey rounds and several analyses of the National Sample Survey.
SC-ST Women Lag Behind
The report said that scheduled caste and scheduled tribe women lag behind the general category women by 18.6 per cent and 27.9 per cent, even though the overall literacy amongst women has improved over the years. In 2015-16, there existed a gap of 55.1 per cent between the top and bottom 20 per cent of the population. Though the gender inequality amongst Muslims has reduced, female literacy continues to remain low (64.3 per cent). In terms of sanitation facilities, 65.7 per cent of households have access to improved non-shared sanitation in the general category. In comparison, SCs and STs lag behind 28.5 per cent and 39.8 per cent, respectively. The Hindu reported that amongst the top 20 per cent of the population, 93.4 per cent of households have access to good sanitation facilities. In contrast, a mere 6 per cent have access in the bottom 20 per cent of the population.
Immunisation in ST households at 55.8 per cent is still 6.2 per cent below the national average, and Muslims have the lowest rate across all socio-religious groups at 55.4 per cent.