According to the World Bank, India is one of the poorest countries in the world. Some of the main issues responsible for widespread poverty in India are poor health services, child malnutrition and inadequate education and training. Almost half of India’s population drops out of school by the age of 13 and only one in 10 people receive some form of job training.
Top 10 facts about Poverty in India
1. India is estimated to have one-third of the world’s poor.
2. In 2012, 37 percent of India’s 1.21 billion people fell below the international poverty line, which is $1.25 a day, according to the Indian Planning Commission.
3. According to 2010 World Bank data, India’s labor participation rate (for those individuals over the age of 15) totaled 55.6 percent; however, the percent of wage and salaried workers of those employed only equaled about 18.1 percent.
4. According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that 98,000 people in India die from diarrhea each year. The lack of adequate sanitation, nutrition and safe water has significant negative health impacts.
5. Families can’t grow enough crops to feed themselves each year due to the lack of new farming techniques, difficult weather conditions, poor storage conditions, misuse of insecticides and lack of water.
6. A third of the world’s malnourished children live in India according to UNICEF, where “46 percent of all children below the age of three are too small for their age, 47 percent are underweight and at least 16 percent are wasted.”
7. India has the highest rate of child marriage in the world, where one in three girls become child brides. Many girls are married off at an early age, become servants or even prostitutes just to survive.
8. The poorest parts of India are Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal.
9. According to the World Bank, in 2009 an estimated 2.4 million were living with HIV/AIDS, with children (less than 15-years-old) accounting for 3.5 percent and 83 percent making up the age group 15-49 years. Around 39 percent of those infected were women.
10. Men are more than twice as likely as women to hold salaried jobs in the large and medium-sized towns that are increasingly important centers of economic life in the Indian countryside. As such, in 2013 women only earned 62 percent of a men’s salary for equal work.
However, it is possible to end poverty in India. The first step would be to help the poor create their own businesses so that they may develop their own incomes. The second step is to create jobs that would allow those in poverty to increase their incomes through wages or salaries. Lastly, selling products to those living in poverty would help them earn or save money.
– Priscilla Rodarte
Sources: Huffington Post, The Telegraph, BBC, The Wall Street Journal, UNICEF 1, Inter Press Service News Agency, The World Bank 1, The World Bank 2, UNICEF 2, Catalyst, Rural Poverty Portal