Maharashtra's first HDR acknowledges the state's unique experience in human development, highlighting progress made in poverty eradication, education, health, employment and people's participation in local governance. While access to education and health care provision have become more comprehensive in accordance with national planning objectives, the influence of women in public life has also increased in recent years. Nonetheless, there are many new development challenges. To further homogenous human development within the state, stronger public action focused on the most vulnerable groups is needed. These are some of the key messages of the Maharashtra's Human Development Report (MHDR) 2002.