Social Sciences and Humanity Studies Academic Blog

Do you have to be rich before you can provide universal education and health care?

Posted in My life by Shekhar on February 26, 2012

Theoretically, being rich should not be a precondition to have access to universal education and health care facilities because the provision of universal education and health care system has been included in the Article 25 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Also, The broadening horizon of democratic governments and their flexibility towards welcoming international donor agencies has facilitated the access of universal education and health care system irrespective of whether one have money or not. Nepal is a vigilant example.

If I was citizen of Nordic countries including Spain, Italy, UK, German then I can have access to health care facilities through the legal mechanism enforced by the government in the form of different insurance act irrespective of whether I am rich or not. Similarly, universal primary education and maternal care are one of the main goals of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and different international donor agencies like World Bank and UNDP are working together to materialize such goals which favors the ‘poor’ citizen of poor Asian countries like Nepal and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The existing reality is that in general Nepalese people have to pay high cost to have access to health and education because we are not being able to separate the concept of ” basic health  and education’ and running for costly high standard of health facilities as well as strictly disciplined education at Boarding schools. In Afghanistan within the period of 7 years from 2001 to 2008, the number of girls attending schools jumped from 15,000 to 2.2 million as the consequence of joint venture of World Bank and International Department Association (IDA). Though the data and facts might be deceptive and might not cover all factor behind the progress but one have sufficient point to agree that with the inflow of donor driven development projects  like MDGs, people access to health and education has increased irrespective of whether they had money or not.

So, one shouldn’t need money to have access for such basic needs because the prevalent happenings shows that such accesses are facilitated either by government alone like that of Nordic countries whose income strengths are very high or international donor agencies like World Banka and UNDP in poor countries whose government and people can’t afford.



Adhikary, J. (2005). Nepalima Gareebeko esthiti: etihasik bibechana. In Bhaskar Gautam, Jaganath Adhikary, Purna basnet (eds.). Nepal ma gareebi ko bahas. Kathmandu; Martin Chautari, pp.49-67

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). 2009 H1N1 Flu (“Swine Flu”) and You. Retrieved from

Chin-Dahler, Patrick (2010). Universal human rights, cultural relativism and the Asian values debate. (February 25, 2012) <Retrieved from;

Diana Ayton-Shenker, (1995).The Challenge of Human Rights and Cultural Diversity. (February 25, 2012) <Retrieved from;

Sen, A .(1997).”Human Rights and Asian Values,” (February 25, 2012) retrieved from <;

Sen, A. (2000). Development as Freedom. New Delhi; Oxford University Press

Shakya, S. (2009). Unleashing Nepal past, present and future of the economy. New Delhi; Penguin Group

Treanor, P. (2004).Why human rights are wrong. (February 25, 2012) Retrieved from



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