India has always been perceived as a poverty-stricken nation abroad, with most of its population living in slums. This was further supported by the fact that India was home to the largest number of poverty-stricken people. Fortunately, India’s constant fight to end poverty has proved fruitful as India has dropped a rank and now Nigeria houses the largest number of poor citizens.
India has been helping poor families since the 1991 reforms. Around 44 people are pulled out of ‘extreme poverty’ every minute. Extreme poverty is defined as having to live on less than $1.9 (Rs. 130) a day. Today, there a still 78 million people in India living in extreme poverty. The good news is that because India is constantly improving, India could even drop to the third rank behind Congo by the end of this year. It is also predicted that ‘extreme poverty’ might be non-existent in India by 2030.
However, to achieve this feat India has to keep up its current momentum. Even a slight bump on the road could shatter India’s goals. It also stands true that extreme poverty isn’t the only thing India has to be fighting. With food prices going up, eradicating poverty itself should be on the agenda.
Interestingly, India isn’t the only country to achieving the feat. Countries from all over Asia like Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia and even the Philippines are doing a lot to break away from the clutches of poverty.
This success has also brought the spanner down on Africa as the country sees poverty increasing in a lot of its countries. Hopefully, we’ll see a change in trends there as well in the near future.
India can be applauded for its current success but eradicating ‘extreme poverty’ would make little sense if the current rich-poor gap in India continues. In India, the richest 1% holds 73% of the wealth generated in India. This definitely needs to change. Other problems to tackle include poor air quality, corruption, religious tolerance, gender equality and tolerance towards citizens belonging to the LGBTQIA community. Without these problems being tackled, we might be getting rid of ‘extreme poverty’, but poverty in people’s mind will continue. After all, poverty is said to be more of a feeling than physicality.