Poverty has always been one of the root cause in India’s poor economy. There have been many debates over time on this issue and many schemes have been launched and implemented, but poverty is still lurking in our country.
India is the second most populous country in the world after China with 1.2 billion people and is the seventh largest country in the world with an area of 3,287,000 km sq. It is one of the largest economies in the world, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of 1,644 billion US dollars. But only a small percentage of the Indian population has benefited from this impressive economic boom so far, as the majority of people are still living in abject poverty.
From Village to Slums in India
More than 800 million people are considered poor in India. Most of them live in the countryside and keep up their livelihood by doing odd jobs. The lack of employment that provides a livable wage in rural areas is driving many Indians into rapidly growing metropolitan areas such as Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore or Calcutta. There, most of them expect a life of poverty and despair in mega-slums, where there is no water supply, no garbage disposal and sometimes no electricity. The poor hygiene conditions in these slums spread diseases like cholera, typhus and dysentery, especially impact children who suffer and die.
India’s duel with poverty has been going on for decades. With the nation being home to one third of the world’s poor for a long time, it has never been easy for the larger part of our population to meet their needs. The country’s poverty has played as a major driver of the total illiteracy rate. Consequently, the illiteracy rate has contributed greatly to the degree of unemployability in the country. With population explosion, things have only worsened for the nation with limited resources. Currently, India holds the rank 103 on the Global Hunger Index, which is not good.
But through all this struggle, we have still thrived. India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. With our continuous, never ceasing efforts, a lot of positive developments have been observed lately, as far as poverty is concerned. India, for decades has been the country with the most number of people living in extreme poverty. In the past ten years though, India has slipped a rank lower in the list. The African nation of Nigeria now holds the tag of largest number of poor in the world.
According to the Multidimensional Poverty Index, the number of poor people in India has come down by 271 million in the past decade. This is quite a terrific progress and for this we can give a pat on our back to ourselves. Due to this progress has been seen on other fronts as well, such as education and healthcare. E-commerce has also played a major role in boosting the Indian economy. It provided many opportunities and employment to those in need of jobs. Also it has been seen that women are contributing more than ever now to the economy. They no longer keep themselves caged and helpless.
All these positive changes depict phase of tremendous growth and prosperity of the nation’s economic health. We still have a long way to go, to make India a poverty free nation. We are only looking upwards in the future.