11 August 2007

Alarming Statistics

A Government Report entitled "Conditions of Work and Promotion of Livelihoods in the Unorganised Sector" carried by Reuters Press Agency on August 10, 2007, quoted alarming statistics about the per capita income of people throughout India. The Report stated that:

77% per cent of Indians, about 836 million people, live on less than half a dollar a day in one of the world's hottest economies.

The state-run National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) said most of those living on below Rs.20 per day were from the informal labour sector with no job or social security, living in abject poverty.

The Report stated: "For most of them, conditions of work are utterly deplorable and livelihood options extremely few," and,

"Such a sordid picture co-exists uneasily with a shining India that has successfully confronted the challenge of globalisation powered by economic competition both within the country and across the world."

Around 26% of India's population lives below the poverty line, which is defined as Rs.12 per day.

Economic liberalisation since the early 1990s has created a 300 million-strong middle class and led to an average annual economic growth of 8.6% over the last four years, but millions of the country's poor remain untouched by the boom.

Based on data from 2004-2005, 92% of India's total workforce of 457 million were employed as agricultural labourers and farmers, or in jobs such as working in quarries, brick kilns or as street vendors.

The Report said the majority of those working and living under ‘miserable conditions’ were lower castes, tribal people and Muslims and the most disadvantaged of these were women, migrant workers and children.

"This is the other world which can be characterised as the India of the Common People, constituting more than three-fourths of the population and consisting of all those whom the growth has, by and large, bypassed".

The NCEUS Report, which was presented to the Prime Minister, recommends the Government provides social security benefits such as maternity and medical expenses as well as pensions to people working in the unorganised sector.


divyakka said...

That is not only alarming, but maddening too. The gap between the rich and poor is widening, and the middle class is fading away - not only in India, but in USA and other countries too. IS THERE ANY SOLUTION?!

Arunachala Living said...

Its called capitalism Diyvakka - and thats the name of the game wherever you live.