Monday, December 19, 2011

India, a spectre of poverty!

India is a nation fantastically wealthy and desperately poor.  The Indian economy has grown steadily over the last two decades, but 25%  Of Indians earn less than the government-specified poverty threshold of 12 rupees per day (approximately US$ 0.25). A recent report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative states that 8 Indian states have more poor people than 26 poorest African nations combined! (410 million).  Rural Orissa has 43% extreme poverty rate and Bihar 41%! They are among the world’s poorest. As per the international poverty line standards, ($1.25 a day) more than 50% of Indians live below poverty line! The 2011 Global Hunger Index (GHI) Report ranked India amongst the three countries where the GHI goes up while 78 out of the 81 developing countries studied, including India’s neighbors, improve it!  42.5% of the children in India suffer from malnutrition. WHO estimates 49% of the world's underweight, 34% of the world's stunted and 46% of the world's wasted children live in India!"
Is this not a grim picture?  5 year plans and poverty  alleviation programs are launched by the government. If one rupee is earmarked for the poor, not even 20% of it reaches them. The whole money is eaten up by the bureaucrats mid-way. They become richer and fatter and the poor thinner and poorer. Recently in a telecom scam the CAG of India had mentioned of the loss of 2 lakh crore ($2billion) to the exchequer through the graft of the Minister and the officials!
Wrong priorities of the government impede progress too. Andrew Mitchell, the UK secretary for international development asks why UK should aid India which is the 11th largest economy in the world spending $31.5bn on its defense and $1.25bn on space program! The defense budget mostly goes for buying weapons, aircrafts and vessels where graft is reported to be rampant. Is the Space program a priority in a poor country like India where people are dying daily of hunger, diseases and poverty? Should the defense expenditure be so much? Why not India reduce the number of government employees, who eat away a major chunk of the GDP, and introduce efficiency? The amount of black money flowing abroad amounts to more $27 billion (more one lakh crores) every year! Petty officers, high bureaucrats, the ministers and those at the top- most of them are corrupt.  More than 20% of the ruling MPs has amassed immense wealth and hold foreign bank accounts. The common people are aware of this but they are helpless. Time is ripe for a 2nd freedom struggle. There is a mass uprising initiated by social crusader, Anna Hazare. When the foreigners left, the new rulers, leaders and their deputies have begun to loot the wealth of the nation in right earnest. The Indians have gone poorer after independence and the latter become richer and fatter. 


  1. If the politians in India get out of corruption... and display their Black money at swiss bank .. every thing is possible ...

    But when that will happen?????

  2. Prof.Varghese,your observation is great.We know that we are fortunate to be born in a country rich in natural resources like fertile soil,ample water,enough sunlight and millions of hands ready to work hard.
    Then why 1/4th of our fellow beings live in wants? Can't it be solved ,if these sections are given work and fare wages .(not like the present farce program ).