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Lakshadweep

State Profile

Geography

The enchanting group of coral islands in the Arabian Sea form the smallest Union Territory of Lakshadweep. This archipelago consists of 12 atolls, three reefs and five submerged banks. Of its 36 islands covering an area of 32Sq.Km only 10 are inhabited. They are Adroit, Amini, Agatti, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kavaratti (Headquarters), Kiltan and Minicoy. Bitra is the smallest of all. These islands earlier known as Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi islands are irregularly scattered between 8o and 12o30' North latitude and between 71o and 74o east longitude.

Lakshadweep lies about 220 to 440 Km from the coastal city of Cochin in Kerala. The islands which were administered at various places were grouped into a Union Territory in 1956 and the name of this Union Territory was changed to Lakshadweep with effect from November 1, 1973. In 1964 the administration had shifted to Kavaratti island.

Though smallest in area, the Union Territory of Lakshadweep has extensive lagoon area of about 4,200Sq.Km, 20000Sq Km of territorial waters and about four lakh Sq Km of economic zone. The territory has tremendous economic potentialities because of extensive economic zone.

Malayalam is the language spoken in all islands except Minicoy where people speak Mahl written in Divehi which is spoken in Maldives also. The entire local population because of their economic and social condition have been classified as scheduled Tribes. Scheduled Castes exist in Lakshadweep group of islands.

History

It is believed that people from Kerala were the settlers in the Laccadive and Amini groups of Islands. A legend said that Cheraman Perumal, who was the ruler of Kerala in the 9th century for about 36 years was attracted towards Islam in his old age. He divided the country among his kinsmen and one night secretly sailed for Mecca in a ship belonging to one Arab merchant. When his departure came to be known, one of his followers, the Raja of Kolathiri (Chirakkal) sent some brave soldiers to bring him back. The party started from Cannanore capital of the Raja of Chirakal but faced a fierce storm in the sea and could not catch the Arab ship in which the Perumal had left. The ship sent by the Raja of Chirakkal struck at an uninhabited island which is now known as Bangaram. At the end of the storm the party returned home. Way back they sighted some other small islands. After returning to Cannanore, they reported about the existence of these islands to the Raja who announced that all who settled in these islands would have the right of ownership of the lands cultivated by them. Many brave and hardy people were attracted by the terms offered by the Raja and settled in the islands. It is believed that Amini was the first island to be colonised. Later, people from Amini went to Chetlat and colonised it.

Another legend said that these islands are known to have been inhabited since unknown past. There existed in Amini a council of four principal families. This council had some authority over chetlat and other islands also but in many matters all islands enjoyed certain amount of autonomy.

Historically the first reference is from the periplus of the Erythrarean Sea (A.D.90). Describing the trade of the Malabar coast, the author mentions "tortoise shell from the islands off Limurike", the latter being the name given to Malabar or part of it in ancient times. The other classical reference is found in Ptolemy's Geography (Circa A.D.150). He refers to a multitude of islands in the Indian Ocean lying around Taprobane (Sri Lanka) and numbering about 1378. He gives a long list of islands, out of which a few belonging to Lakshadweep.

The travelers like Al Biruni in A.D.1030, Abu Zayad in A.D.950 and Marco Polo in A.D.1254-1324 mentioned about the islands in the coast of Kerala. Marco Polo gives a fantastic account of their marriage custom, fish trade and collection of ambergris.

During the16th century the island have to suffered greatly at the hands of the Portuguese. A major part of the inhabitants were put to death and many were taken prisoners. The Portuguese built a fort at Amini. Because of their cruelty and harshness the islanders were driven to seem assistance of Raja of Chriakkal. As a result of his intervention in this matter the Raja could eventually establish his authority over all the islands. He held them for many years and later transferred them in Jaghir, with the title of Raja upon the Ali Raja, the head of the Moplah community in Cannanore.

The Raja of Cannanore first managed the islands through the chiefs of the islanders themselves called 'Muthalals'. Later on the Rajas used to send their own agents known as 'Kariakars'. Chetlat was administered by the 'Kariakar' stationed at Amini. In A.D.1764-65, the Cannanore Raja levied an export duty on coir and later imposed duty on rice imported from mainland for home consumption. In 1783 as a result of the compulsory introduction of monopoly an export of coir, the people of Aminidivi group of islands including Chetlat rose in revolt and extended allegiance to Tipu Sultan attached the Aminidivi Islands in 1779 since then, the islands were under the British, till India's Independence in 1947.

The state of Lakshdweep has an area of 32 sq. km. and a population of 0.06 million. There are 1 district, 1 block and 24 villages. The State has population density of 1,895 per sq. km. (as against the national average of 312). The decadal growth rate of the state is 17.30% (against 21.54% for the country) and the population of the state is growing at a slower rate than the national rate.

Health Indicators of Lakshadweep

The Infant Mortality Rate is 21, Sex Ratio in the State is 946 (as compared to 940 for the country). Comparative figures of major health and demographic indicators are as follows:

Demographic, Socio-economic and Health profile of Lakshadweep State as compared to India figures

IndicatorLakshdweepIndia
Total population (Census 2011) (in million) 0.06 1210.19
Decadal Growth (Census 2011) (%) 6.23 17.64
Crude Birth Rate (SRS 2011) 14.7 21.8
Crude Death Rate (SRS 2011) 6.4 7.1
Total Fertility Rate (SRS 2011) NA 2.4
Infant Mortality Rate (SRS 2011) 24 44
Maternal Mortality Ratio (SRS 2007 - 2009) NA 212
Sex Ratio (Census 2011) 946 940
Population below Poverty line (%) 15.60 26.10
Schedule Caste population (in million) 0 166.64
Schedule Tribe population (in million) 0.06 84.33
Female Literacy Rate (Census 2001) (%) 80.6 53.7

Health Infrastructure of Lakshadweep

ParticularsRequiredIn positionshortfall
Sub-centre 11 14 -
Primary Health Centre 1 4 -
Community Health Centre 0 3 -
Multipurpose worker (Female)/ANM at Sub Centres & PHCs 18 14 4
Health Worker (Male) MPW(M) at Sub Centres 14 13 1
Health Assistant (Female)/LHV at PHCs 4 0 4
Health Assistant (Male) at PHCs 4 0 4
Doctor at PHCs 4 6 -
Obstetricians & Gynaecologists at CHCs 3 0 3
Physicians at CHCs 3 0 3
Paediatricians at CHCs 3 0 3
Total specialists at CHCs 12 0 12
Radiographers 3 3 0
Pharmacist 7 21 -
Laboratory Technicians 7 7 0
Nurse/Midwife 25 31 -

(Source: RHS Bulletin, March 2011, M/O Health & F.W., GOI)

Organogram

Organisational Hierarchy Medical & Health Organisation

Organisational Hierarchy Medical & Health Organisation

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List and Addresses of State Officials

Principal Secy
Shri  H. Rajesh Prasad
Administrator,
UT of Lakshadweep,
KAVARATTI 682555,
LAKSHADWEEP
Tele office : 04896-262255 262497
Fax No : 04896-262184
Mob : 09496201400
Email : lk-admin@nic.in
Shri   J. Ashok Kumar 
Secretary (Health),
UT of Lakshadweep,
KAVARATTI 682555,
LAKSHADWEEP
Tele Office : 04896-262256
Fax No : 04896-263180
Mob : 09447608400
Email : lk-Coll@nic.in
Mission Director
Dr. K. P. Hanzakoya
Mission Director, NRHM
Office of the Mission Director (NRHM),
Directorate of Medical & Health Services,
Administrator of the UT of Lakshadweep,
KAVARATTI - 682555.
Tel Off.: +91-4896-262316
+91-4896-263748
Fax: +91-4896-263217
Mob: +91-9496429027
Email: rchlakshadweep@gmail.com

Regional Evaluation Team Report

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RET Report - 2009-10 PDF file that opens in new window. To know how to open PDF file refer Help section located at bottom of the site. (16 KB)