Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index Ranks India 2nd Worst in South Asia After Afghanistan
"India is home to over 340 million destitute people and is the second poorest country in South Asia after war-torn Afghanistan...In South Asia, Afghanistan has the highest level of destitution at 38%. This is followed by India at 28.5%. Bangladesh (17.2%) and Pakistan (20.7%) have much lower levels" Colin Hunter, Center for Research on GlobalizationIncreases in per capita income and human development index are often used as indicators to represent improvements in the lives of ordinary people in developing nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Both of these have significant limitations which are addressed by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI)'s MPI, multi-dimensional poverty index.
The MPI brings together 10 indicators, with equal weighting for education, health and living standards (see table). If you tick a third or more of the boxes, you are counted as poor.
|Source: Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative|
Eradicating poverty in South Asia requires every person having access to safe drinking water, sanitation, housing, nutrition, health and education.
According to the MPI, out of its 1.2 billion-plus population, India alone is home to over 340 million destitute people and is the second poorest country in South Asia after war-torn Afghanistan, according to Colin Hunter of Canada-based Global Research.
Some 640 million poor people live in India (40% of the world’s poor), mostly in rural areas, meaning an individual is deprived in one-third or more of the ten indicators mentioned above (malnutrition, child deaths, defecating in the open).
In South Asia, Afghanistan has the highest level of destitution at 38%. This is followed by India at 28.5%. Bangladesh and Pakistan have much lower levels. The study placed Afghanistan as the poorest country in South Asia, followed by India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal, according to Hunter.
Afghanistan is the poorest country in South Asia in terms of multi-dimensional poverty with 66% of its people being poor, followed by India with 54%, Bangladesh with 51%, Pakistan and Nepal at 44%, Bhutan at 27%, and Sri Lanka and the Maldives at 5%, according to Oxford researchers. Among 104 countries ranked by OPHI, Nepal ranks 82, India 74, Bangladesh 73, Pakistan 70, Sri Lanka 32 in MPI poverty.
Why has India lagged behind its neighbors in spite of rapid economic growth in recent years? Here's how Hunter explains it: "The ratio between the top and bottom 10% of wage distribution has doubled since the early 1990s, when India opened up it economy. According to the 2011 Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development report ‘Divided we stand’, this has made India one of the worst performers in the category of emerging economies. The poverty alleviation rate is no higher than it was 25 years ago. Up to 300,000 farmers have committed suicide since 1997 due to economic distress and many more have quit farming."
What Colin Hunter hasn't clearly articulated is the fact that India remains home to the world's largest population of poor, hungry and illiterates who lack even basic sanitation 67 years after the nation's independence from British colonial rule.
As the new Hindu Nationalist government under Narendra Modi begins its anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan campaigns so soon after inauguration, an Indian journalist Pankaj Mishra reminds Indians in a recent New York Times Op Ed that that "India’s reputation as a “golden bird” flourished during the long centuries when it was allegedly enslaved by Muslims. A range of esteemed scholars — from Sheldon Pollock to Jonardon Ganeri — have demonstrated beyond doubt that this period before British rule witnessed some of the greatest achievements in Indian philosophy, literature, music, painting and architecture".
It's time for Mr. Modi to shun his bellicose rhetoric (boli nahee goli--India's guns will do the talking) against Pakistan and focus on much more important issues of deep deprivation of his people.
Here's a video on Grinding Poverty in Resurgent India:
Haq's Musings Grinding Poverty in Resurgent India by faizanmaqsood1010
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NEW DELHI — The most lost of the lost people of Delhi end up here, in a cold metal-sided room at the Sabzi Mandi mortuary. They are lying on every available surface, including the blood-smeared floor, some with body parts flung out in the position of their death, protruding from the white plastic bags that are used to store them.
The smooth, sharp curve of a man’s naked hip, all bone and no flesh. A jaw, with teeth. Hands folded over an abdomen as if at rest, or extended in some last intercepted expression of feeling.
In a corner, the bodies are crowded together on the floor. The mortuary attendants say it is so difficult to procure supplies as basic as disinfectant from the government that workers bring soap from home so that they can wash their hands after handling the bodies, many of which are infected with tuberculosis. So it would be unrealistic for the unidentified dead to expect a metal shelf of their own.
“You’ll find them one on top of the other,” said the mortuary’s chief doctor, L. C. Gupta. “Where are we supposed to put them?”
On average, the police in this city register the discovery of more than 3,000 unidentifiable bodies a year — unidentifiable not because they are unrecognizable, but because they carry no documents and there is no one who knows them.
It is an extraordinary number. New York City buries as many as 1,500 homeless or poor people in trenches in its potter’s field on Hart Island every year, but of those, according to an official from the medical examiner’s office who recently spoke to the NY1 news channel, the number who remain unidentified averages around 50.
In Delhi, one regularly encounters the unknown dead: By law, photographs of their corpses must be published in newspapers and posted in police stations, under the Dickensian heading “Hue and Cry Notice.” Protocol requires the mortuary to hold each body for 72 hours so that relatives have a chance to spot the announcements and claim the dead, but Dr. Gupta said they rarely do.
“Nobody reads them,” he said. Police officers are also expected to investigate. Asked about this, Dr. Gupta gave a small, dry smile. “They may or may not try,” he said.
This is no city for the poor. Drive around New Delhi at night, and great numbers of men, women and children can be seen curled up on the sidewalks sleeping, or trying to sleep. These people — “pavement dwellers,” they are called — figure in occasional newspaper articles about drunken drivers whose vehicles jump the curb and plow into a row of sleepers....
The 2017 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) provides a headline estimation of poverty and its composition for 103 countries
across the world. The global MPI measures the nature and intensity of poverty, based on the profile of overlapping deprivations each poor
person experiences. It aggregates these into meaningful indexes that can be used to inform targeting and resource allocation and to design
policies that tackle the interlinked dimensions of poverty together.
Sabina Alkire and Gisela Robles
• Half of the MPI poor people live in destitution.
• In six countries and 117 subnational regions, 50% or
more of people are destitute.
• Most of the highest levels of destitution are found in SubSaharan
• Pakistan has more destitute people – 37 million – than
East Asia and the Pacific (26 million) or the Arab States
• India has more destitute people (295 million) than SubSaharan
Africa (282 million).
"The analysis first looks at the most common deprivation profiles across 111 developing countries (figure 1). The most common profile, affecting 3.9 percent of poor people, includes deprivations in exactly four indicators: nutrition, cooking fuel, sanitation and housing.7 More than 45.5 million poor people are deprived in only these four indicators.8 Of those people, 34.4 million live in India, 2.1 million in Bangladesh and 1.9 million in Pakistan—making this a predominantly South Asian profile "
Also note in this UNDP report that the income poverty (people living on $1.90 or less per day) in Pakistan is 3.6% while it is 22.5% in India and 14.3% in Bangladesh.
Living standards (Cooking fuel Sanitation Drinking water Electricity Housing Assets) of the poor in Pakistan (31.1%) are better than in Bangladesh (45.1%) and India (38.5%).
Pakistan fares worse in terms of education (41.3%) indicators relative to Bangladesh (37.6%) and India (28.2%).
In terms of health, Pakistan ( 27.6%) fares better than India (32.2%) but worse than Bangladesh (17.3%).
In terms of population vulnerable to poverty, Pakistan (12.9%) does better than Bangladesh (18.2%) and India (18.7%)