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top 10 facts about hunger
India has struggled with inadequate food and water access over the last few decades. The country’s rapidly growing population has drawn the attention of the world, and several states and organizations have answered the call to address hunger. Following are 10 facts about hunger in India:

Top 10 Facts About Hunger in India

  1. About 15 percent of India is undernourished. This statistic may not initially seem significant, but 15% of 1.34 billion people is roughly 199 million people. To put this in perspective, 199 million people is more than half of the United States. Currently, organizations such as the Fight Hunger Foundation have begun to battle the issue, but it remains prevalent.
  2. One-third of food gets lost or wasted. According to the Indian Food Bank, 40 percent of vegetables and 30 percent of cereals produced are lost due to inefficiencies in the supply chain. New agricultural methods and the overall industrialization of India have sought to increase efficiency.
  3. Women account for 60 percent of India’s hungry population. For the last 65 years, CARE India has emerged as a leader in addressing the issue of hunger in developing areas by focusing on women’s health, education, and access to necessities. The NGO has impacted 24.1 million people directly and 85.8 million indirectly.
  4. 3,000 children die every day from hunger. Those that survive have a high chance of living with hardships in the future. Organizations like Save the Children have turned to India to help decrease this number through aid in the form of food, hygiene, and education.
  5. Around 30 percent of newborns die from lack of nutrition. The Healthy Newborn Network has started to raise awareness regarding the issue because not enough is being done to address this specific aspect of hunger. Improving prenatal care is crucial in sustaining a healthy, growing population.
  6. 21 percent of the population lives on less than $1.90 per day. $1.90 is not nearly enough to live on sustainably. Programs set up by organizations such as Global Aware allow individuals in privileged areas to help solve the problem.
  7. India ranks 97th in addressing hunger. The country’s condition is worse than many believe. Despite being an economic powerhouse, India lacks the resources to properly fix its hunger issue. Foreign aid from other nations has helped in remedying part of the problem.
  8. India is not poor, yet hunger remains an issue. India’s GDP has significantly increased over the last two decades to 2.246 trillion USD. The misplacement of resources and predetermined cultural norms, such as the caste system, have prevented the state from moving forward.
  9. The government, on many levels, has been inefficient in improving the issue. Politics have hindered progress through a lack of effective programs. Inadequate funding has resulted in significant hurdles to solve the issue, and India’s political system must be mended before any real progress can be made toward addressing hunger issues.
  10. The situation has improved. Since 2008, India has climbed five spots in the world ranking from 102 to 97. While there is still substantial room for improvement, the data show that progress is underway. The country’s ranking on the Global Hunger Index has decreased in the last two decades and could improve more given the increase in aid provided by private organizations.

These facts about hunger in India underscore the necessity of policies and programs to improve the living conditions of many of the country’s citizens. Although the country is in dire conditions, progress is being made toward a better life for India’s population.

– Mrinal Singh
Photo: Flickr

poverty and overcrowding
The world is experiencing rapid population growth and urbanization. Advances in medicine have allowed for increased life expectancy as well as decreased infant mortality, while birth rates have largely remained unchanged. This combination of circumstances has lead to great growth; between 1999 and 2011, the population increased by nearly one billion people.

The population increase has led to rapid urbanization. People migrate to cities with the promise of economic or educational opportunity, technological advancement and access to health care. It is estimated that by 2050, 66 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas.

This urbanization of cities that are neither prepared nor equipped to deal with overcrowding places strain on both natural and manmade resources alike. The following is a list of five cities suffering from both poverty and overcrowding.

Five Major Cities Dealing With Poverty and Overcrowding

  1. Mumbai, India: With a population density of 171.9 people per square mile, India is notorious for overcrowding. Mumbai is no exception, with a population near 23 million and a population density of almost 70,000 people per square mile.Mumbai serves as India’s commercial hub and is home to the Bollywood industry, making it prone to migration. Yet, those with hopes of Bollywood often end up in prostitution or organized crime. The population has doubled in 25 years, leading to many slum neighborhoods.In fact, half of the population of Mumbai lives in overcrowded, unsanitary slums that comprise only eight percent of the city’s geographic area. Although great wealth exists throughout Mumbai, poverty and overcrowding continue to increase.
  1. Dhaka, Bangladesh: Being named the most densely populated city in the world in 2015, Dhaka suffers from overcrowding and poverty alike. It has also been named to lists of least livable cities and fastest growing cities.Its population is over 18 million, with a density of 114,300 people per square mile. Roughly one-third of Dhaka’s residents live in poverty, with two million inhabiting slums or without any form of shelter.
  1. Lagos, Nigeria: Lagos is Africa’s fastest growing city. In 2017, the population was 21 million; the U.N. predicts that this number will rise to over 24 million by 2030.Situated between the Atlantic Ocean and a lagoon, Lagos is Nigeria’s commercial capital. Yet, 300,000 people live in slum neighborhoods and make a living by fishing out of hand-built canoes.  One-fifth of the city’s residents live in poverty.The slum houses are fashioned from scrap-metal and elevated on stilts to protect against flooding. There is little access to clean water, electricity or quality education. The majority of slums are built along the coast, causing friction with the wealthy as well as the government, which has evicted many communities on faulty logic in order to seize the land.
  1. Manila, Philippines: Manila has a population of 1.7 million and a land area of less than 10 square miles, leading to a high population density of over 170,000 people per square mile. Manila serves as the Philippines capital and home of its banking and commerce industries.In Manila, 600,000 people live in slum districts, which are ridden with disease and malnutrition. Many kids do not attend school, as parents are often forced to choose between feeding the family or sending the kids to school.
  1. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: Ulaanbaatar boasts the highest population density on this list, with over 760,000 people per square mile. The influx in population resulted in unplanned neighborhoods known as “ger” areas, which house 60 percent of Ulaanbaatar’s population but are vulnerable to natural disasters and lack water and sanitation sources as well as electricity.A number of expensive apartment buildings mark the city’s skyline, yet many of these buildings remain empty due to the high cost of living. The government intervention has tended to benefit the upper-income subgroups, rather than those living in poverty.

Poverty and overcrowding are endlessly entwined. Rather than placing a halt on migration and urbanization as many cities have attempted, lack of affordable housing, quality water and sanitation facilities, education opportunity and food shortages ought to be addressed. Cities must respond to the growing demands that come with overcrowding in order to help alleviate poverty and decrease hardship.

– Jessie Serody
Photo: Flickr

sex trafficking in India
The trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. This profitable industry generates an estimated $99 billion each year. Unsurprisingly, women and girls make up 96 percent of victims of sex trafficking. The action of sexual exploitation is a human rights violation. This exploitation robs these women and girls of integrity, dignity, health, security and equality.

Sex Trafficking in India an Ongoing Issue Despite New Laws

Sex trafficking in India continues to be lucrative and persistent, and poverty is a major factor. Many vulnerable women and girls are lured into the industry because of the promise of employment. When these women and girls are faced with the harsh reality of poverty, hunger and homelessness, many of them see this as the only option. Matters of poverty are sometimes so severe that parents will sell their own daughters into the trade. These women and children have no other options because they do not possess an education or the skills or the resources to escape sex slavery.

Although India’s Parliament passed a bill amending laws concerning sexual violence and making sex trafficking a criminal offense in 2013, this law will only be so successful. Trafficking is profitable, and corruption is widespread. Traffickers can easily pay off police officers to avoid the deserved charges, which leaves women and children still very much at risk and unprotected.

Sudara Provides Employment Opportunities for Sex Trafficking Victims

A mission-driven company exists on behalf of these women and children to not only empower them, but to provide them with dignified employment opportunities. Sudara is an online store that sells items such as clothing, bags, jewelry and children’s toys, yet there is so much story behind each of these items.

Sudara started in 2006 by partnering with a sewing center in India and taught six women how to sew a pattern for loungewear pants that have been named Punjammies. The previous year, founder Shannon Keith had just returned from a trip to India, where she heard many stories of women who were sold into sex slavery and women who were being picked up off the streets by local pimps.

From the beginning, Sudara’s focus and goal has remained the same: to empower women to live in freedom from sex slavery through safe, sustainable living-wage employment. Every pair of Punjammies robes and slouch pants are made in India, and every style is named after a woman at one of the centers.

Fifteen years later, Sudara has multiple sewing center partnerships with people from all over India and the United States. One of these center partners, Ivana, provides women who are at high risk of trafficking with valuable skills training on computers and tailoring. In addition, the center also offers counseling services for every woman as well as on-site childcare for their children.

Sudara’s mission also emphasizes providing a level of care that allows a woman who has been a victim of sex trafficking in India to heal from her past and facilitate training that leads to a self-sufficient future. Because of this, Sudara pays the sewing center partners a premium that goes towards medical care and counseling. This premium also goes towards job placement services and micro-loans for women who would like to start a business of their own.

Sudara’s Nonprofit Arm Helps the Most Vulnerable in India

Sudara also created a nonprofit organization, the Sudara Freedom Fund, to further its social impact goals. The donations made during checkout at sudara.org go towards the Sudara Freedom Fund and have helped fund safe housing for women escaping sex trafficking in India, equipment for new or growing sewing centers and back-to-school programs.

With the continuous support of donations to the Sudara Freedom Fund, one of their most recent successes is the Sunetha Home, which opened in 2017. The Sunetha Home is providing safe housing, meals and an education for 10 girls living in a red light district of India.

Although companies such as Sudara and its nonprofit, the Sudara Freedom Fund, are putting their efforts towards creating freedom for hundreds of women and girls who are at high risk of sex trafficking in India, it is not enough to end sex slavery once and for all. To do that, it is necessary to break the cycle of slavery for the next generation and the generations after that. By supporting Sudara and other philanthropic organization, many people are doing their part to combat the sexual exploitation that millions of women and children face.

– Angelina Gillespie
Photo: Flickr

Poverty reduction efforts in India
Poverty reduction efforts in India have seen vast improvements in the last decade. Historically, the country has seen poverty across the nation, including lack of education, lack of proper hygiene and low gross domestic product (GDP) compared to its growing population. In the last decade, economic reform and poverty reduction efforts in the southern regions of India have made poverty reduction in the nation a strong force, improving its Multidimensional Poverty (MDP) ranking and doubling India’s GDP.

Vast Improvements in the Southern States

The MDP ranking is “an international measure of acute poverty,” which is based on three measures: health, education and living standards. In the last decade, India has seen its raking increase from 54 of 102 countries to 26, a rather significant jump, which equals approximately a 34 percent decline in poverty. It seems that this decline in poverty was due to the high performance of five southern states: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

These states have an average MDP of nine percent, while India has a national average of 21 percent. The states with the lowest MDP percentage are Kerala, with an MDP of one percent, and Tamil Nadu, with six percent. Interestingly, many states in India are significantly above the national average–for example, Rajasthan (31 percent) and Bihar (43 percent)–but the promising performance in the southern states lowers the national average, showing the positive effects of poverty reduction efforts in India.

How Poverty Reduction Efforts in India Are Helping

One reason for this decline in poverty is an improvement in public facilities. Improvement in public facilities accounts for the improved quality of life and can create spillover into other areas, such as healthcare and education.

Until recently, many areas of India, including many in the southern states listed above, did not have school, health care, a post office or clean drinking water. Many of these problems have begun to be remedied.

Improvements in poverty reduction efforts in India can be seen in different ways across poorer areas of India. For example, in Surguja, most children go to school now and most families have a “job card.” Other regions, such as Uttar Pradesh, have not made nearly as much progress and many other areas are somewhere in between.

Economic Reform in India

Improvements have also been seen in India’s GDP over the last decade, with a near doubling of national income reaching $7.98 trillion. Economic reform in the nation have led to improvements in poverty reduction efforts in India. The vast array of economic reform that has taken hold of India seems to be one of the reasons for this improvement, allowing India to begin to lift its citizens out of poverty.

An example is the Green Revolution. A push for food production within the nation itself first made India reach a self-sufficient food supply, then made the nation a surplus producer of food, allowing it to export food for greater income. Additionally, India became the world’s largest rice producer in 2015.

Another example of economic reform was introducing cell phones to rural areas of India which allowed individuals to be globally connected, facilitating entrepreneurship and migration opportunities for historically cut-off areas of India. According to the CATO Institute, economic reform in India has helped reduce the number of individuals in poverty by 150 million.

While there is definitely still work to do, India seems to be on a progressive path to poverty reduction. Through economic reform measures and improved quality of life, India is giving its citizens a pathway out of poverty.

– Katherine Kirker
Photo: Flickr

Top 10 Facts About Poverty in Mumbai
Mumbai is a city with a massive population but, like most of India, it struggles with poverty. Poverty has long been a major concern for the Indian government, but with a consistently growing population, it is becoming increasingly harder to create effective change. Regardless, having all the facts about the city is a good first step to understanding what can be done to improve living standards. The following are 10 important facts about poverty in Mumbai.

10 Facts About Poverty in Mumbai

  1. According to the 2011 census, the population of Mumbai was 12,478,447. Estimates for 2018 put the population around 22 million; however, the next official census is not scheduled until 2021.
  2. In 2016, an estimated 55 percent of Mumbai’s population lived in slums. A slum is an area of dense population typically characterized by poverty, deteriorated housing and buildings and poor living conditions. 
  3. Not all slums are recognized, or “notified,” by the Indian government, meaning residents of “non-notified” slums are not entitled to piped water, toilets, electricity or public transportation. This also allows the government to de-prioritize them in slum improvement schemes.
  4. Almost half of Mumbai’s slums are non-notified, and Mumbai is estimated to have the largest slum population of any city in the world. 
  5. Lack of access to clean water causes various bacterial infections. These can cause mild to severe diarrheal illnesses and, in some cases, mortality through the ingestion of harmful chemicals, toxins and bacteria. These illnesses are particularly prevalent in non-notified slums. 
  6. The Indian government created the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) in 1971. Since then, the SRA has been implementing projects and policies to try and improve the lives of people living in poverty. The SRA website has a record of 1,513 total projects that have been run in cities and villages across India, including many in Mumbai. 
  7. Mumbai also has a large homeless population that is unable to access any housing or places to settle in. According to the 2011 census, over 54,500 people are homeless in Mumbai. 
  8. Mumbai had a 33.4 percent secondary education drop out rate in early 2017. However, there has also been a 20 percent increase in enrollment since 2010. 
  9. The income gap in Mumbai and other parts of India is widening. According to a Maharashtra survey, people in the poorest districts earn only 25 percent of what people in the wealthiest districts do. 
  10. The largest slum in Mumbai is called Dharavi. It is home to about one million people, however many of them are not below the poverty line. While still densely packed, Dharavi is home to middle-class, well-educated residents, and many of them have satisfactory living conditions.

These are the top 10 facts about poverty in Mumbai. While many of them depict poverty and issues that need to be addressed, others point out positive aspects of the city that may not always receive as much visibility. It is important to look at the city’s strengths in addition to its weaknesses in order to gain a fuller understanding of the issue at hand.

– Liyanga de Silva

Photo: Flickr

economic growth in India
India, one of the most populous countries on Earth (around 1.2 billion people), witnessed rapid 
growth of its GDP over the last two decades, experiencing a surge in economic growth. In fact, income per capita has doubled in 12 years and triggered a solid overall reduction of the poverty rate.

The Central Statistics Organization Findings

According to the Central Statistics Organization (CSO), India’s gross domestic product grew by 6.3 percent, for a yearly rate of 7.1 percent between July and September of 2017; however, corporate earnings are expected to grow by over 20 percent in the financial year of 2017-18.

However, in the prospects of India’s GDP growth, the CSO has also included a slight decrease in the annual rate, which will fall to 6.5 percent in 2017-18. This result is an overall improvement considering that the Indian economy experienced a three-year low rate of 5.7 percent probably due to the implementation of a goods and services tax (GST). 

Positive Outcomes

The general picture, nevertheless, yields incredibly positive outcomes: income tax returns rose 21 percent to 42.1 million in 2016-17, and India gained a position as the third largest startup base in the world with over 4,750 technology startups, 1,400 of which were founded in 2016.

Moreover, the tax collection figures between April-June 2017 show an increase in Net Indirect taxes by 30.8 percent and an increase in Net Direct Taxes by 24.79 percent year-to-year — indicators of steady economic growth in India.

Among the factors that have and continue to contribute to the country’s development, it’s worth noting a few crucial ones i.e. fast-growing population of working age, wage costs and the structure of the legal system.

The presence of 700 million Indians under the age of 35 and steadily growing demographics for the next twenty years demonstrates the increase of the working-age population from 58 percent to 64 percent over the last two decades. Furthermore, many of these people are English speakers which creates a strong legal system and facilitates the attraction of foreign investments, especially from companies specializing in IT outsourcing.

Past and Future Progress

Wage costs are also quite low and the productivity gap between India and other countries has been massively reduced over the last few years. As a result, India’s economy has successfully increased the presence of businesses in the field of technology, an upturn that has created Bangalore as a hub for global software businesses.

This economic growth in India has lent a massive hand towards the reduction of poverty in the country and to the development of living standards of its citizens. While there’s still ongoing debates on what living in poverty means and what threshold we employ to provide an accurate definition of poverty, the number of poor people did in fact drop from more than 400 million in 2005 to 270 million by 2012 — a wonderful omen for today and the future.

While the World Bank still counts many people below the line of global poverty, India’s poverty rate is the lowest among countries with large poor populationS. Overall, the future is bright for this South Asian country! 

– Luca Di Fabio

Photo: Unsplash

facts about poverty in India
India is a South Asian country with one of the fastest growing economies and yet still a large number of inhabitants living in poverty.

The Top 10 Facts About Poverty in India

  1. According to a survey done by CNN, only five percent of India’s surveyed population made enough to pay taxes, 2.5 percent owned a vehicle and less than 10 percent had a salaried job.
  2. With such economic struggles, literacy is extremely uncommon in rural areas. Only 3.5 percent of students in India graduate and about 35.7 percent of the population doesn’t know how to write or read.
  3. In 2012, there were 270,000,000 — or one in every five —  impoverished Indians; 80 percent of these poor Indians lived in rural areas.
  4. Twenty-one percent of poor Indians have restrooms, 61 percent have electricity and only 6 percent have tap water.
  5. With poverty affecting Indian lives so much, 38 of every 1,000 babies born in India die before making it to their one-year mark.
  6. The rapid population growth in India is one of the major reasons for poverty within the country. The growth of the population exceeds the rate of growth in the country’s overall income. This heavily affects the poor because population growth creates a need for an increased labor supply, which is a profession with low wage rates.
  7. One of the top 10 facts about poverty in India includes climatic conditions and the effect such impacts have on poverty within the country as a whole. India’s climate is extremely hot, which makes it difficult for Indians to work. This inability, in turn, causes production to suffer and therefore, the income of Indians to suffer as well. Also, there are numerous amounts of floods, earthquakes and cyclones that cause extreme damage to agriculture and infrastructure; all of these conditions make it difficult for people living in poverty.
  8. “Your Article Library” explains that low levels of investment create low income and that the circle of poverty is seemingly never-ending within India.
  9. Business Today explains that India recently accounted for the largest amount of people living below the poverty line; 30 percent of India’s population lives on less than $1.90 a day.
  10. The Huffington Post reveals that 56 percent of Indians (around 680 million people) lack the ability to meet their basic needs. Even the people who are officially above the poverty line (around 413 million people) are still vulnerable to such harsh conditions.

Sooner Rather than Later

With poverty continually taking such a toll on India, it is important to understand that it is a country in need of assistance. Allowing people the ability to see their harsh living conditions is one way to ensure that these top 10 facts about poverty in India improve over time.

– McCall Robinson

Photo: Pixabay

poverty in rural IndiaIndia has an overall population of 1.3 million, with 900 million people living in rural areas of the country. While the poverty rate has been significantly reduced due to governmental support, factors such as natural disasters, heavy dependence on agriculture and high birth rates have contributed to the continued poverty in rural India that affects around 300 million people.

Farming in India relies heavily on monsoons that bring rainfall and irrigate the land. This means that erratic weather, cyclones, water shortages and droughts all have a huge impact on agriculture and can cause damage to crops.

Environmental factors are not the only causes of poverty in rural India; societal factors play a large role as well. Many people living in rural areas lack the physical ability to work. Individuals may also face problems such as drug addiction or alcoholism. Other factors that increase the poverty rate include a poor educational system, limited access to medical care, poor or non-existent sex education and a lack of available birth control methods.

One main social issue related to poverty in rural India is the custom of child marriage. The legal age of marriage in India since 1978 has been 21 for men and 18 for women. Despite this, about one-third of global child marriages occur in India, and more than 230 million Indian girls marry before they reach 18 years of age.

In rural India, one-fifth of Indian girls are married before age 16 and give birth to their first child before age 18. Child marriages greatly affect Indian women’s physical and psychological health and result in fewer educational opportunities for younger women. It also increases the demands on food and energy as a result of a growing population.

Solutions to this problem include stricter law enforcement against child marriage and proper education regarding family planning for those living in poor socioeconomic conditions in rural India.

While the “green revolution” emphasized the ownership of private land and tried to fairly distribute this land to all individuals, much of the land in remote areas of India is still held by a small group of upper-status people. Large portions of cultivated land belong to a minority upper social class, which includes rich farmers and landlords, and results in a severely uneven distribution of land. In other words, the majority of people own very little land and as such may have to maintain a feudal relationship with rich landlords. Those not in feudal relationships struggle with a low annual income and often with debt, since the harvests from their lands seldom bring a profit. Other issues such as crop patterns, neglect of crop rotation and poor quality materials and technology also influence poverty in rural India.

Due to the high poverty rate, many rural areas in India now have to depend on loans with relatively high annual interest rates. While this seems like a good solution to the poverty crisis and reduces the immediate pressure of economic needs, in the long run, it will negatively affect these rural areas. Such loans lead to future debts and increase the need for funds to pay back the loans.

Better solutions should be adopted to help relieve financial stresses in rural India, such as a compulsory education allowance and poverty subsidies from the local government.

To sum up, poverty in rural India is caused by many factors. Possible solutions to reduce the poverty rate include stronger surveillance of land, stricter enforcement of the legal marriage age, widespread awareness of birth control, better access to medical resources and increased support for low-income families. The more solutions for poverty, the better the prospects for rural India.

– Xin Gao

Photo: Flickr

Poverty in India
A young nation with a long history, India has the second-largest population in the world. India is also a regional power with a stable democratic government and an economy that is growing quickly. Despite this, poverty in India is high. This is often portrayed throughout history as “growing pains”. To mitigate these pains, the government is working to diminish poverty in India.

 

Top 10 Facts about Poverty in India

 

  1. In 1947, India gained independence from Great Britain. Its poverty rate at the time of British departure was at 70 percent.
  2. India is the country with the highest population living below the poverty line. Today, the poverty rate in India is 21.1 percent, which is an improvement from 31.1 percent in 2009. India’s estimated population in 2016 was 1.3 billion.
  3. Underdeveloped infrastructure and the medical sector hinders equal access to medical care. People living in developed urban areas have a higher chance of receiving medical attention and are at lower risk of becoming ill compared to people living in rural areas. Less than 20 percent of the rural population of India have access the clean water. Unsanitary water conditions increase the spread of both viral and bacterial infections.
  4. According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), a strong supporter of development in Asia, India’s economy grew by 7.1 percent in 2016. The Asian Development Bank began assisting the Indian government with infrastructure and economic development in 1986.
  5. The following four facts highlight the 2016 successes from the joint projects undertaken by the ADB and India beginning in 2010. With the help of the Asian Development Bank, 344 million homes have either gained access or improved access to clean water thank to increased investment in irrigation, water treatment, and sanitation. In addition, 744,000 homes are no longer at risk due to flooding.
  6. To boost economic growth, India and the ADB have constructed or improved 26,909km of roads throughout the country, of which 20,064km are in rural areas, increasing the rural populations’ access to the economy and healthcare.
  7. Thanks to funding from the ADP, the Indian government has been able to build 606,174 units of affordable housing since 2010.
  8. To connect these new houses and improve older structures, 24,183km of power lines were hung or laid, while decreasing India’s carbon footprint by 992,573 tons of CO2.
  9. Independent of the ADB, the Indian government is considering testing a universal basic income program. Each person would receive 7620 Indian Rupees ($113) from the government to spend however they choose. A similar program is being tested by Finland. The aim is to fight poverty in India by relieving pressure on the poor. The cash handout would help to alleviate the pressure of any unforeseen expense. However, opponents fear that their banking systems would not be able to handle the sudden increase in cash flow and that food prices may drastically increase.
  10. To combat black-market corruption and increase tax compliance, the Indian government decided in 2016 to phase out the 500 Rupee and 1000 Rupee notes. All notes were to be deposited within the deadline, and remaining notes would not be considered legal tender.

Poverty in India is slowly but surely being diminished. Careful planning by the government will continue to benefit those stricken by poverty. Proof of this can be seen in the success of the government’s use of invested funds from the ADB. With a growing economy and responsible government, poverty in India will surely continue to decrease.

Nick DeMarco

Photo: Flickr

Poverty in India
Farmers in the Nashik district of Maharashtra continue to strike, even after a majority desisted their protests once the government agreed to meet 70 percent of their demands. Those demands included a loan waiver and new legislation that would dissipate the neglect in rural areas. Poverty in India is widespread, and 30 percent of the agrarian population contributes to the 1.1 million people living on less than $1.25 a day.

Maharashtra is a state in Western India, where Mumbai is located. Strikers halted the food supply and the skyrocketing prices of goods were emphasized by protesters dumping milk and vegetables into the streets. Even after the government’s compromises, 52,000 acres of land may be taken to build a new highway without guaranteeing jobs for the farmers that it would affect, and stray protests remain. The Mumbai-Nagpur “superhighway” is only one unaddressed issue that has led government resentment to accumulate as much as the farmers’ debt.

India’s environmental policy, which limits pesticide use, has been increasing production prices steadily since the 1970s, and 3.2 million farmers have defaulted on bank loans. Credit delivery is one-fifth of the national average in the Northeast districts uninvolved in the current protests. Only 30 percent of usable farmland across India has irrigation systems in place. While the Maharashtra protesters demanded better cold storage chains and warehouses, they live in the second most populous state in the country. In Southern states, where there is little to no government infrastructure to aid farmers, the misery of rural agrarian areas has manifested as a painful statistic: the world’s highest suicide rates.

In short, poverty all across India is chronically tied to the poor treatment of the country’s farmers. The recent protests may not have solved the problem, but if the government can stay true to the promises they have made, it will be a significant step toward improvement.

Devendra Fadnavis, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, has promised loan waivers by October for the farmers who do not benefit from the institutional credit system, and minimum support prices for agricultural products are being reexamined. A higher price will be set for milk by June, power bills will be subsidized, supply chain management revised and Fadnavis assured protesters that any criminal offenses against them will be dropped.

Maharashtra farmers will be anxiously awaiting the changes promised, and the world will be awaiting any similar political activism that will counter poverty in India through the voices of those rural people most affected.

Brooke Clayton

Photo: Flickr