Friday, March 9, 2012

A quarter of Indians live with Rs10/ 20 cents) a day!

Can people live on Rupees 10 (less than 20 cents) a day? A lunch cost Rs100 ($2) in an ordinary restaurant! For eating out with family you require more than Rs500/ ($10) .A middle class family of 3  needs 15,000($300) to live in India. How does then a family survive on Rs300/ ($6) a month? But as per a  government of India commissioned study, 83 crore (836 million to be precise) Indians live with Rs.20 a day! But they are not below poverty line as per the govt’s new standards. Half of themlive with Rs10 or below  
Extreme Poverty is widespread in India; it has a third of the world's poorest. According to a World Bank estimate, 41.6% of the population falls below the international poverty lines. A recent report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) states that 8 Indian states have more poor than 26 poorest African nations combined population (above 410 million)!  
 The latest UNICEF data shows that one in three malnourished children worldwide are found in India and 42 percent of children under five are  underweight. It also showed that a total of 58 percent of children under five, surveyed, were stunted. The 2011 Global Hunger Index (GHI) Report places India amongst the three countries where the Global hunger Index  between 1996 and 2011 went up from 22.9 to 23.7.  We are behind  Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Kenya, Nigeria, Myanmar, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Malawi!.
 Many think  India has joined the ranks of the world's economic powers!  There are a handful who draw huge salaries in India and abroad.  But India’s real people, the vast majority, live with almost nothing. The government is bringing down those below poverty line by consciously lowering the poverty level from Rs 21 or a day to Rs11 and down. And they declare ‘we are succeeding in eradicating poverty. As per this standard, Those earning between Rs11and Rs20 are above poverty line!  
In the rural settings and slums of cities and towns of India  the fortunate can afford  Rs 20  a day. Others earn much less! To these millions and millions the shining malls, the glittering restaurants and supermarkets make no difference whatsoever. Two dry rottis will  be their lunch and a dry tea the dinner. The roof of their one-room hut will be on the verge of collapse or the ramshackle shack would be so dilapidated that it is better to live in the open air than inside. While they lie down hungry and naked or defecate  in the open they can hear the boom of an Indian rocket going to probe the moon to find out whether there is water there. 

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