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Once an ancient center of power, learning, and culture where two world religions have their roots, the state of Bihar is now often recognized as one of the poorest in India, with the lowest per capita income in all the major states of India. Bihar is blessed with many water resources and although communities were once fully supplied with water sources, an aging and inadequate maintenance system is jeopardizing this, as is an increase in arsenic and fluoride contamination. About two thirds of women in the state are illiterate, while more than half the men are able to read and write. Bihar is one of India’s last few states where the deadly polio virus continues to cripple children for life.