Sunday, February 21, 2010

India Should Have Zero Poverty

Well, the official poverty line is a bit of a joke, being above it does not mean that you're well-nourished, adequately clothed and sheltered and have health care. Nevertheless, there should be ZERO Indians below the official poverty line. I'm not stating a moral imperative, I'm saying that the means to make this true exist.


Tavleen Singh informs us of a report by the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy of Hong Kong, that surveyed 12 Asian economies and found India to have the worst government bureaucracy.

The Government of India spent Rs 4 trillion on various poverty alleviation programmes last year. The report points out that if even half this money had been distributed among our estimated 60 million poor households, they would each get Rs 80 a day and so rise above the poverty line. Our own Planning Commission pointed this out more than a decade ago but because there has not been the smallest attempt to get our babu-log to work more efficiently, nothing has changed.

Angry African thinks about talking to his baby daughter:
How do I tell her that every 3 seconds a child dies from something that we could’ve stopped? From hunger. From not enough food. From not having an apple. Or clean drinking water. Or just a little porridge in the morning. That we have it in our power to stop it if we want. But we choose not to. How do I tell her?

How do we live with the fact that a lot of the human misery in India can be mitigated, and yet nothing happens?