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In the early years of the 21st Century

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CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in India in the early years of the 21st Century.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of poverty are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the relationship between distribution of labor and per-capita GDP, for example.  Perhaps your paper could focus on life expectancy or infant mortality.  Other factors of interest might be unemployment, literacy, access to basic services, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include some of the possible outgrowths of poverty such as Human Trafficking, Street Children, or even Prostitution.  There is a lot to the subject of Poverty.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

*** Extreme Weather ***

India has been grappling with extreme weather conditions, impacting millions of lives and livelihoods. An intense heatwave swept through northern India, with temperatures reaching a record 49.2°C (120.5°F) in parts of the capital, Delhi. This marks the fifth heatwave in Delhi since March. The states of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Punjab, and Bihar have also experienced soaring temperatures. Extreme temperatures and low rainfall since mid-March have caused widespread suffering, including deaths, crop losses, forest fires, and disruptions to power and water supplies.

IPCC Warning: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that India will face more frequent and intense heatwaves, extreme rainfall events, erratic monsoons, and increased cyclonic activity in the coming decades. Average temperatures in India have risen by approximately 0.7% between 1901 and 2018, partly due to climate change. Heatwaves have claimed over 22,000 lives between 1992 and 2015. – adapted from Microsoft BING Copilot

*** ARCHIVES ***

The World Factbook - India

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency CIA

[accessed 29 December 2020]

World Factbook website has moved to --->

[accessed 5 January 2021]

India has a young population and corresponding low dependency ratio, healthy savings and investment rates, and is increasing integration into the global economy. However, long-term challenges remain significant, including: India's discrimination against women and girls, an inefficient power generation and distribution system, ineffective enforcement of intellectual property rights, decades-long civil litigation dockets, inadequate transport and agricultural infrastructure, limited non-agricultural employment opportunities, high spending and poorly targeted subsidies, inadequate availability of quality basic and higher education, and accommodating rural-to-urban migration.

GDP - per capita (PPP): $7,200 (2017 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 47%

industry: 22%

services: 31% (2014 est.)

Unemployment rate: 8.5% (2017 est.)

Population below poverty line: 21.9% (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate: 145 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate: total: 35.4 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 69.7 years

Drinking water source: improved: total: 92.7% of population

Physicians density: 0.78 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access: improved: total: 72% of population

Electricity access: electrification - total population: 84.5% (2016)

The Borgen Project - India

[accessed 25 January 2021]

The Borgen Project works with U.S. leaders to utilize the United States’ platform behind efforts toward improving living conditions for the world’s poor.  It is an innovative, national campaign that is working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy.  It believes that leaders of the most powerful nation on earth should be doing more to address global poverty. From ending segregation to providing women with the right to vote, nearly every wrong ever righted in history was achieved through advocacy. The Borgen Project addresses the big picture, operating at the political level advancing policies and programs that improve living conditions for those living on less than $1 per day.

~ How Ekal Vidyalaya Is Adapting For Indian Children

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~ 4 Ways India’s Government Can Improve Its Gdp Per Capita

~ A Million Wells For Bangalore: Restoring Water To The Indian City

~ Efforts To Reduce Pollution In The Ganges River

~ 6 Facts About Wash Advancements In India

~ The Correlation Between Environmental Instability And Poverty In India

~ Water Purification Technology In India Is Saving Lives

~ Ending India’s Aids Epidemic

~ Benefits Of The Smart Card India Initiative

The Linkage Between Poverty and Leprosy

Nalikena Muyunda Siyoto, Mulungushi University-Zambia

[ Long URL]

[accessed 12 April 2022]

Some studies have shown positive linkages between food shortage and food insecurity with the occurrence of leprosy, and they suggest that impaired host immune response against the causative bacteria as a result of insufficient nutritional intake is the possible cause of this condition (Kerr-Pontes et al, 2006). Insufficient nutrition is related to poverty as only poor persons can lack nutrition. Some of the world’s poorest areas, including Mozambique, Bangladesh and India, are disproportionately burdened by leprosy and other neglected tropical diseases such as lymphatic filariasis. This is because poor living conditions can act as a breeding ground for such diseases or exacerbate symptoms of existing ailments.

Why international donors should stop funding oxygen: Many more Indians are in need of basic necessities like food

Smarinita Shetty, Developing India, Edit Page, India, Times of India TOI, 22 May 2021

[ Long URL]

[accessed 23 May 2021]

Even as the second wave of Covid-19 rages through the country, and media and global donor attention is focussed on the supply of oxygen, the rest of the country is grappling with extreme hunger, poverty and loss of livelihoods.

International donor attention however has been entirely focussed on the supply of oxygen in Delhi, and now to some extent, Bengaluru.

Indians are about 60 per cent of new poor caused by the pandemic

Nirmala Carvalho, AsiaNews, 31 March 2021

[accessed 1 April 2021]

In India, the lockdown caused by the pandemic included the shutdown of most economic activities, job losses and falling incomes, with the country plunging in a deep recession.

“India seems to be the worst-hit country in South Asia, both in terms of contracting GDP and the sharp rise in the number of its poor,” reads the Pew Center’s study. “India added 75 million people to poverty, accounting for 60% of the rise in poor populations globally.”

“Rising poverty and hunger can be seen by the long lines outside the gates” of the St Catherine of Siena’s Home and School for Destitute Children in Bandra (Mumbai), said its director, Brother Joseph. “Hunger is increasing, the poor have no source of income’ and “The lines for food are getting longer,”

India has a large underweight population with TB – and the Covid-19 crisis is only making it worse

Deepti Chavan & Keyuri Bhanushali, SCROLL.IN, 17 February 2021

[Long URL]

[accessed 17 February 2021]

As Covid-19 grips the headlines, we often forget that India has one of the largest underweight populations in the world. In some states, these statistics are extremely grim. We often forget that while low weight is a classic symptom of poverty, it is also one of tuberculosis, a disease associated with the wasting away of fat and muscle. Being underweight is both a cause and a consequence of TB.

Poverty and resulting hunger and undernutrition increase the chances of active TB and also the severity of the disease. It reduces patients’ speed of recovery and exacerbates suffering side effects from the medicine, and the likelihood of their becoming one of the many Indians that TB claims every year.

New community refrigerator opens for poor, hungry

Mission Newswire, Salesian Missions, 28 January 2021

[accessed 29 January 2021]

Don Bosco Nerul, located in Mumbai, India, has installed a community refrigerator to provide food and snacks for those facing hunger and have nowhere else to turn. Salesian missionaries are calling this initiative Don Bosco Cares.

During the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Don Bosco Nerul reached out to 25,000 families and 10,000 migrants who had been impacted. Many who were already in poverty faced hunger without having money to buy food. While the lockdown has ended, migrants and those living in poverty, including those living on the streets, are still not able to feed themselves.

Don Bosco Nerul is working to reach out to these individuals and provide support in their time of need. The community refrigerator is one such initiative. It launched on Jan. 22, and anyone who is poor or hungry may open the refrigerator and take enough to satisfy their immediate hunger. There is another box that has snacks, secondhand clothes and handmade masks.

Formula to change society

Mata Amritanandamayi, New Indian Express, 24 January 2021

[accessed 24 January 2021]

We are not isolated islands. We are all links in a chain. We cannot wait for others to change. We should be prepared to change first. In this way, we can transform society. Once there was a village in the middle of a forest. There were no street lights. Because of this, the number of murders and robberies increased. The villagers went to the police and asked them to install street lights, but nothing was done. The crime rate continued to grow. Then, one day, one of the villagers got an idea: Why not light a lamp and hang it out on the veranda. At least this would illumine that small area.

So, he did it. His neighbours followed suit. Eventually, the entire village was illumined. Murder and theft soon ended. The good deed of one individual set into motion the transformation of the entire village.

Tigers Stalk as Storms, Poverty Force Indians Deep Into Mangrove Forests

Devjyot Ghoshal, Reuters, Wire Service Content, 16 January 2021

[Long URL]

[accessed 14 January 2021]

Haldar fishes in the river most days. Twice a month, she travels deeper into the forests to catch crabs, rowing six hours on a rickety boat along with her mother and staying in the undergrowth for several days.

Almost all of the 2,000 rupees ($27) she makes each month to run her household and send her youngest daughter, Papri, to school comes from fishing and crabbing. Her elderly father and other relatives look after the girl while she is gone.

"If I don't go to the jungle, I won't have enough food to eat," Haldar told Reuters.

Poverty, limited access to resources explain high mortality rates in older Indian women

Emily Henderson, B.Sc., New Medical Life Sciences, 8 December 2020

[Long URL]

[accessed 12 December 2020]

"The estimates from my model indicate that the decline in women's intrahousehold bargaining power during post-reproductive ages could help explain the excessively high mortality rates of older women in India," she continued. "The decrease in women's bargaining power is reflected in their diminished ability to access household resources. As a result, at older ages poverty rates are significantly higher among women than men, which negatively affects women's health and increases their mortality risk. The excessive poverty rates of women are even more pronounced in households where women beyond childbearing ages have no children to care for."

This organisation is alleviating poverty and working with governments to prepare their public systems for the new normal

Kanishk Singh, Social Story, 8 December 2020

[accessed 8 December 2020]

“Our mission at The/Nudge Foundation is to eliminate poverty sustainably and scalably, and bring more than a million lives out of poverty.

Centre for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship focuses on youth employability through English and new-age skills training. It has served over 10,000 low-income youth across 10 states through its skilling programmes and placement opportunities.

Centre for Rural Development addresses extreme poverty through its programmes – such as rebuilding 500,000 migrant homes in Uttar Pradesh, and providing sustainable livelihoods to women. Their core work is in Jharkhand with families who live on less than Rs 20,000/year.

The pandemic has created a second crisis in India — the rise of child trafficking

Jessie Yeung and Priyali Sur, CNN, 24 October 2020

[accessed 25 October 2020]

After India went into total lockdown in March, more than half of all migrant households in Bihar state lost all their income, according to a study conducted in July by UNICEF and Population Council Institute.

The region is home to millions of migrant workers, including Mujeeb's father, a construction worker in Delhi.

The state government provided food rations -- but only 42% of migrant households found the aid sufficient, according to the study.

A survey by Satyarthi's Children's Foundation of 245 households in rural areas of five poorer states, including Bihar, found that 21% of respondents were potentially ready to send their children under 18 to urban areas for work due to their increased economic vulnerability.

But it's not just parents who feel they have no other choice -- the children themselves may feel compelled to go to earn money for their hungry families. Mujeeb said he had brought up the possibility of leaving before with his grandmother, but she had always discouraged him, despite the family's troubles.

"There are no earnings here," said his grandmother, who didn't want to be named. "How do I feed the child? I told him not to go, but he left with nothing to eat at home."

The brave tender souls

Experience by Salman Nizami, Greater Kashmir, 28 October 2010

[accessed Oct. 29, 2010]

One day I asked Aabid if he would show me his home and introduce me to his family so I could understand his life and the life of the other street children here. And so, awkwardly, he led me to his poor neighbourhood Chak Dhara – Fakir gojri village. His home, like all the others in the area, is made of mud. Aabid introduced me to his elder brother who has not been able to work since he was injured in the Kashmir conflict few weeks ago. I also met his mother who showed me the family's one small bedroom in which six people sleep packed together. There was no furniture, no cupboards, no spare clothes left hanging, not even any glass in the windows - just cardboard. And no fire to keep them warm at night. Aabid earns about Rs.100 a day selling Kashmiri handicraft items. With that he buys the basics for his family, mostly just bread and sugar. Rice, he told me, is a treat - and the last occasion he ate meat was a year ago. I asked him how he felt about his situation. "I am happy and not happy," he told me. "Happy because I work, but not happy because I cannot earn enough to bring my family everything they need." Aabid is not exceptional in this town - tens of thousands of children work on the streets of Kashmir cleaning shoes and selling handicraft items, fruit and vegetables toiling away in markets and workshops as their family's main bread winners.

Action Against Hunger - India

[accessed 21 March 2021]

Although India has shown improvement in reducing child stunting, with 46.6 million stunted children the country is still home to over 30.9% of all stunted children under five, the highest rate in the world. Undernutrition in India is the product of the usual suspects: widespread poverty, endemic hunger, rapid population growth, pockets of weak governance, poor health systems and unreliable national indicators, all of which are compounded by issues of caste, ethnicity, religion and gender. Furthermore, India has shown no progress with regards to six other global nutrition goals. There is a strong need to reduce these numbers, as India still bears 23.8% of the global burden of malnutrition.

The World Bank in India

[accessed 22 April 2021]

With a population of more than 1.2 billion, India is the world’s largest democracy. Over the past decade, the country’s integration into the global economy has been accompanied by economic growth. India has now emerged as a global player.

Looking back a few years

Advameg, Inc., Encyclopedia of the Nations

[accessed 25 January 2021]

As of 2001, according to World Development Indicators, India had become the world's fourth-largest economy in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms, up from fifth place in 1999.

its new fourth-place rank does reflect the country's remarkable record of steady growth: an annual average of 6% growth since 1991 with a 10% reduction in the proportion of the population living in poverty.

India's population growth dropped below 2% for the first time in four decades, but the growth rate for the working-age group 15 to 60 years olds continues to accelerate presenting the government policy makers with the need to accelerate job creation..

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