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Poverty

Poverty

Backgrounders

Poverty : Background & Perspective

By Mari Marcel Thekaekara

 "When I see it I know it," a US Supreme Court judge once said cryptically about obscenity. It is the same with poverty. When all the number-crunching is done, the lines of poverty defined and redefined, poverty is about the adivasi starving in Bolangir or Kalahandi, the widow of an Andhra Pradesh weaver driven to suicide, the drought-stricken in Rajasthan. Their poverty can only be alleviated if there is a redistribution of assets, an even and rapid spread of healthcare and education, and the creation of sustainable livelihoods
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 Analysis

'SDGs set to repeat the mistakes of the MDGs?'

By Vineet John Samuel

Sustainable Development Growth

Without transparent and accountable governance, the Sustainable Development Goals will remain a feel-good wish-list for equitable development, says Vineet John Samuel.
On November 22-27 the United Nations General Assembly will meet in New York for the Sustainable Development summit, to acknowledge and put into action the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Sustainable Development Goals have been created to supplant the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), set to lapse this year.

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Related Articles

»'Prosperity and poverty: A rapid reader on inequality By S Subramanian & D Jayaraj
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»Empowering the poor the McKinsey way By Rahul Goswami
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»The India behind the new poverty ratio By Rahul Goswami
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Features

The poor fight to stay on BPL list

By Sudarshan Chhotoray

Below the Poverty Line (BPL)

The BPL survey 2011 and its inclusion/exclusion criteria has serious repercussions for India’s poor. The very BPL card that helped a person build a house under the Indira Awas Yojana will now see him excluded for owning a pucca house; the phone booth granted to the disabled will now see them excluded for owning a fixed phone line; a basic outboard motor on a fishing boat will knock a poor fisherman off the BPL list 

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Related Articles

»MGNREGA performs poorly in poverty-stricken Orissa By Pradeep Baisakh
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»A roof for the homeless By Kathyayini Chamaraj
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»Tripura's tribal angst By B Jayant Kumar
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Books & Reports

Why poor rural tribals will remain poor for generations

By Richard Mahapatra

A new survey by the Chronic Poverty Research Centre identified 15 regions spread over six states where poverty is getting concentrated and chronic, and found that tribal and forested areas are likely to remain poor, with the decline in poverty among the rural tribal population going from 51.9% to just 47.3%

Read More

Related Articles

»NREGS must focus on creating productive assets: CSE study
Read More

»The reality of aid Dr Sudhirendar Sharma
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»Rich countries' commitment to development slipping, says new survey
Read More

Changemakers

Truth, people and a video camera

By Ashok Gopal

Activist-filmmaker Shriprakash's honest, powerful documentaries attempt to capture the struggles and aspirations of local communities in Bihar and Jharkhand

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Stories of Change

ATM cards for Delhi's homeless

ATM

A scheme to enable hundreds of homeless people in Delhi to save has given them an identity and a new sense of pride and achievement
The story of Nirmal Kumar Dega is one of despair and very little hope. Lying prone under the lone fan in a huge room at Ashray Adhikar Abhiyan (AAA), a rights-based organisation funded by ActionAid that runs shelters for the homeless in Delhi, Dega’s fatigue is evident. His lanky frame is clothed in a brown kurta-pyjama, his hair is dishevelled, his teeth stained yellow with tobacco.

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Related Articles

»Identifying the poorest of the poor in Barmer
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»Nuakala: Orissa's tribals spin their way out of poverty
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»Crusading for change
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News

50% of scheduled caste population chronically undernourished: Binayak Sen

Dr Binayak Sen, recently nominated to the Planning Commission’s steering committee on health draws attention to starvation in India and says government policies are only adding to the problem


Thirty-seven per cent of India’s adult population, 50% of the scheduled caste (ST) population and 60% of the scheduled tribe (SC) population suffers from chronic undernutrition, according to Dr Binayak Sen, the human rights defender who was recently released on bail by the Supreme Court after being convicted by a Chhattisgarh court of sedition and awarded a life sentence.

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Related Articles

»Provide cooked meals and change child malnutrition parameters: HC
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»Rules framed for stricter NREGS audit 
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»New guidelines, hike in wages for MGNREGS workers
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Statistics

Some Indicators from the Human Development Report, 2003

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Statewise Poverty lines, Number of Poor and Poverty ratio for the year 1999-2000

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Incidence of poverty (in per cent) in terms of Head Count Ratio

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Poverty : Background & Perspective

 By Mari Marcel Thekaekara

"When I see it I know it," a US Supreme Court judge once said cryptically about obscenity. It is the same with poverty. When all the number-crunching is done, the lines of poverty defined and redefined, poverty is about the adivasi starving in Bolangir or Kalahandi, the widow of an Andhra Pradesh weaver driven to suicide, the drought-stricken in Rajasthan. Their poverty can only be alleviated if there is a redistribution of assets, an even and rapid spread of healthcare and education, and the creation of sustainable livelihoods

Read more...

SDGs set to repeat the mistakes of the MDGs?

Without transparent and accountable governance, the Sustainable Development Goals will remain a feel-good wish-list for equitable development, says Vineet John Samuel.

Read more...

Prosperity and poverty: A rapid reader on inequality

Increasing prosperity for small sections of the population has been misinterpreted as signifying diminishing levels of poverty for large sections of the population, say S Subramanian and D Jayaraj

 Prosperity and poverty

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Empowering the poor the McKinsey way

Rahul Goswami rips apart the McKinsey Global Institute’s new report on measuring and tackling poverty in India

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The India behind the new poverty ratio

Rahul Goswami questions the government’s recent claim that 407 million Indians below the poverty line in 2004-05 had by 2011-12 dwindled dramatically to 270 million

poverty line

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Minimum-wage criteria provide a more realistic poverty line

What has been missing in the heated debates about the poverty line is a clear enunciation of which basic needs should be included. The 15th Indian Labour Conference of 1957 might have come up with the most comprehensive criteria for defining the minimum wage required to meet basic needs, writes Kathyayini Chamaraj

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Reading between the poverty lines

India’s new Below Poverty Line estimate based on the Tendulkar Committee report has been hailed as being much more realistic than earlier estimates. But does it adequately count and include the poor of this nation, asks Sachin Kumar Jain

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As the economy grows, so too does hunger

By Devinder Sharma

If successive governments had devoted just a fraction of the effort that has gone into propping up trade and industry into fighting hunger and malnutrition, India would not be ranked a dismal 66th in the 2008 Global Hunger Index

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The economics of violence: Growth with inequality

The World Bank claims that poverty in Asia has been halved between 1990 and 2003. But, says John Samuel, the story looks good only until you see the underbelly of this economic growth - growing inequality, violence and pollution

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How India lives: Inequality, impoverisation and identity

A recent paper in EPW clearly demonstrates the links between poverty and vulnerability caused by social identity in India. It also demonstrates the extent to which inequality is increasing. This is a recipe for political dissent, says John Samuel

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Measuring global poverty: India on 20 cents a day

By Aseem Shrivastava

Global poverty estimates report the number of people living on less than $1 or $2 a day. But purchasing power (dis)parities suggest that it could be more accurate to say that the poor in countries like India are living on less than $0.20 or $0.40 a day, says Aseem Shrivastava

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Are micro-finance institutions exploiting the poor?

By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

The high interest rates and forced loan recovery practices of micro-finance institutions have been held responsible for the suicide of several farmers in Andhra Pradesh. It is evident that poverty makes good business sense to MFIs, writes Sudhirendar Sharma

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Breathing life into farming

By Darryl D'Monte

The guarantee of 100 days of work in a year cannot by itself provide food security. The trick, says alternative technologist K R Datye, lies in using the NREGA not to build roads but to regenerate the land and create permanent rural assets which will facilitate sustainable livelihoods

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They don't buy it

By Sharmila Joshi

Inequalities will persist if we continue to look at India's poor only as consumers

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'India's rural poor need a New Deal'

By Rashme Sehgal

Rural India is in acute distress, crying out for food and work, says economist Utsa Patnaik. Rural Indians are actually purchasing and consuming less foodgrain per capita today than they were in 1991

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Why not cash for work?

By Chandra Bhan Prasad

Is the government's Food For Work Programme really helping to 'empower' the poor? By paying for their labour in foodgrain the implication is: the poor are hungry, let them eat food. But what about their other needs including medicines, homes, schoolbooks, social emergencies...

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The tyranny of empty bellies

By John Samuel

Fifty thousand people die every day of poverty-related causes in this world of plenty. Eight hundred million go to bed hungry. What are we doing about it, asked John Samuel in his keynote address at the World Social Forum 2005

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Consumption on a global scale: The gap widens

By Darryl D'Monte

This year's 'State of the World' report from Worldwatch places India as the country with the third largest consumer class, behind only the US and China.Yes, that's 122 million individuals with purchasing power. But they form only 12% of the total population. The rest can only gape at the tremendous disparities

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The feel-good factory: A government-media joint venture

By P Sainath

Amidst the orgy of celebration over India Shining, P Sainath points out that the fastest-growing sector in these golden years has not been IT or automobiles, but inequality

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The poor fight to stay on BPL list

By Sudarshan Chhotoray

The BPL survey 2011 and its inclusion/exclusion criteria has serious repercussions for India’s poor. The very BPL card that helped a person build a house under the Indira Awas Yojana will now see him excluded for owning a pucca house; the phone booth granted to the disabled will now see them excluded for owning a fixed phone line; a basic outboard motor on a fishing boat will knock a poor fisherman off the BPL list

Read more...

MGNREGA performs poorly in poverty-stricken Orissa

By Pradeep Baisakh

The MGNREGS is particularly relevant in states such as Orissa, where different estimates put the number of poor at 48% to 84%. But while Rajasthan provided 74% of eligible families with work in 2009-10 and Andhra Pradesh 52.6%, Orissa provided work to only 24% of eligible families. No wonder there’s been a 116% increase in rural migration

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A roof for the homeless

By Kathyayini Chamaraj

Karnataka has come up with a draft housing policy which, while recognising housing as a need, does not recognise it as a ‘right’. Moreover, only 10% of the housing is for the socially and economically weaker sections, and the government has positioned itself as a ‘facilitator’ rather than as a ‘provider’, with the stated objective of involving the private sector

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Tripura's tribal angst

By B Jayant Kumar

In Tripura’s tribal areas, political parties are demanding greater autonomy for the tribal council. But for most people who have no clean drinking water, depleting food stocks, and no employment, more development, not more autonomy, is a key requirement

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Fantasies amidst the shanties

Slumdog Millionaire has been critiqued by many in India as poverty porn and slum tourism. But it does touch lightly on many themes that should rightly resonate through a country that misses no opportunity to showcase itself as the new participant at the high table of global dominance, says Pamela Philipose

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How safe are NREGS wage payments through banks and post offices?

By Pradeep Baisakh

When the government decreed that all payments to beneficiaries under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act would be made through banks and post offices it thought it had plugged the leaks in the system. But bank accounts too can be manipulated, as a social audit carried out in Karon block in Jharkhand state showed

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Dilli hamari bhi hai

By Madhu Gurung

There are over 100,000 homeless people living in Delhi. Only 7,000 of them can be accommodated at the capital's shelters for the homeless. Of the 19 shelters in the city, nine are operated by Aashray Adhikar Abhiyan

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Northeast of Eden

By Darryl D'Monte

India chooses to showcase the northeast as an exotic tourist destination of great natural beauty. Several documentaries at a recent environmental film festival in Guwahati showed it as a neglected corner of the country, with gaunt tribals and civil and political unrest

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'Fixing' the Vidarbha BPL list

By Aparna Pallavi

Around 250,000 families have protested against the rigging of the below poverty line (BPL) lists in Maharashtra's Vidarbha districts, which are in the grip of a severe agricultural crisis, and where inclusion in the list is essential for the poor to access their entitlements

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NREGA: Challenges in implementation

By Tanushree Sood

Seven months into India's ambitious National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, guaranteeing 100 days of employment a year to every rural household in 200 districts, several problems of implementation are being reported from the field

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The big hope: Transparency marks the NREGA in Dungarpur

By Anosh Malekar

A social audit across 800 villages in drought-prone Dungarpur district in Rajasthan is a shining example of how public vigilance and a proactive administration can combine to see that the rural employment guarantee Act is successfully implemented

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Where has the money gone?

By Anosh Malekar

A social audit exposes the corruption in Rajasthan's employment guarantee works. This should not discredit the hard-won 100 days work guarantee for India's millions, but make citizens and civil society more vigilant to corrupt practices

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Brick by brick

By Aparna Pallavi

Twelve illiterate tribal women belonging to a self-help group set up their own brick kiln, changing the power structure in their village in the process

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Hope and scepticism as villagers await work under NREGA

By Aparna Pallavi

The villagers of Maharashtra know the potential for corruption, delay and denial of entitlements in the government's employment guarantee schemes. Nevertheless, in Bhandara district, villagers are eagerly awaiting the Rural Employment Guarantee of 100 days of work. It's either that or migration to the city, they say

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'If 40% of Indians are asking for 1% of the GDP, it's no big deal'

By Rashme Sehgal

Ramon Magsaysay Award winner Aruna Roy is founder-member of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghatana and a member of the National Advisory Council. She is an outspoken champion of an amendment to the Freedom of Information Act 2002 and the much-talked-about Employment Guarantee Act

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Mithila's women paint their way out of poverty

By Naren Karunakaran

The Bharati Vikas Manch, in Bihar's Barheta village, has been instrumental in teaching poor village women the famous Mithila genre of painting. The skill has helped transform lives and ward off poverty in many backward villages in the state

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Janavani: A reporter in every village

By Elisa Patnaik

The problems of the rural poor, dalits and adivasis are given short shrift in the mainstream media, a fact that's corroborated in a recent CYSD study in Orissa. To counter this trend, an exclusive newspaper, Janavani, for and about Orissa's rural poor, was launched in January this year

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MKSS provides a blueprint for a workable employment guarantee scheme in Rajasthan

By I M Shah

How can the drought-hit state of Rajasthan manage a scheme that will guarantee every poor household 100 days of employment a year? How can it finance this scheme costing Rs 1,600 crore per year? The Mazdoor Kisaan Shakti Sangathan has some answers

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Maa Bambaleshwari! Chhattisgarh's women have taken charge

By Rashme Arora

One million women in the newly-formed state of Chhattisgarh have formed 76,000 self-help groups and are now running the weekly bazaars, the fisheries and even the stone quarries

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The hamlet that Orissa forgot

By Manipadma Jena

The Juang tribal village of Talapada is on the border of Keonjhar and Dhenkanal districts. Consequently, it receives no development assistance from either district. Five large mining companies operate within 20 km of the hamlet, but still the village is barely touched by civilisation. The witch doctor is their only hope. No one has heard of family planning. There is no teacher at the primary school

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The multi-billion-dollar fuelwood trade is the last resort for India's poor

By Richard Mahapatra

As ecological degradation leads to the loss of livelihoods from agriculture and forests, some 11 million desperate people in India eke out a living collecting and selling fuelwood. It might be time to stop viewing the trade as a threat to our forests and to set about organising it and weaving it into our national forest policy instead

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Can loans eradicate poverty?

By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

Do loans actually help ease poverty? If one were to go by the results of the World Bank-supported District Poverty Initiatives Project in Rajasthan, it would seem not

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Living through the great drought

Yana Bey travels through the poverty-stricken Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput region of Orissa, meeting villagers with long memories of hard times and starvation

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Growth sans development

By John Samuel

Policymakers never fail to make a connection between the rate of economic growth and the apparent fall in poverty levels in the '90s. But the rhetoric is at variance with reality. The total number of poor has actually increased substantially in the decade following liberalisation

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Why poor rural tribals will remain poor for generations

By Richard Mahapatra

A new survey by the Chronic Poverty Research Centre identified 15 regions spread over six states where poverty is getting concentrated and chronic, and found that tribal and forested areas are likely to remain poor, with the decline in poverty among the rural tribal population going from 51.9% to just 47.3%

Read more...

NREGS must focus on creating productive assets: CSE study

According to a comprehensive new report by the Centre for Science and Environment, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme must be strengthened and revamped to provide not just wages for work done but work that will make ecological regeneration possible

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The reality of aid

By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

The ongoing war on terror has subsumed all concerns about poverty, hunger and human survival, says the 'Reality of Aid Report 2006'

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Rich countries' commitment to development slipping, says new survey

While the world's wealthiest nations made lofty promises to better the lives of the world's poorest nations, at the G8 summit in 2005, an analysis of their policies on trade, aid, the environment and immigration by the Center for Global Development shows that they haven't made good on their promises

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Poverty in India increasingly region-, group-specific, says 'Social Development Report'

A pathbreaking new report assesses development issues like poverty, unemployment, health and sanitation, urban governance, decentralisation, communal relations and how far women and marginalised groups have progressed across the social indices. It finds that the spatial map and social base of poverty in India have significantly changed over time

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The world's poor evaluate progress on the MDGs

A new report by ActionAid International asks rural people in 18 countries two crucial questions: Have the rights and freedoms of people in developing countries been enhanced in the process of realising the Millennium Development Goals? And have the burdens on the poor diminished over the past five years?

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Give rural poor control over ecosystems to fight poverty: WRI report

With proper management and the incentives that come with control and accountability, ecosystems could generate enough income to lift the rural poor out of abject poverty, says a new report by the World Resources Institute

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Global solutions for global crises

By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

The world will need an extra US$ 50 billion every year till 2015 to reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day. A Copenhagen Consensus report suggests local solutions will not work; the prescription now is for global action

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The World Is Richer, Fatter, And Not Much Happier

Consumer appetite has eroded the quality of life for rich and poor, reports 'State of the World 2004'

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UN-HABITAT report on global slums

The figures are startling: globally, one billion people now live in urban slums, claims a new report. This number is expected to double within the next 30 years, if no action is taken

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Is growth sufficient to alleviate poverty?

By Sheba Tejani

Surjit S Bhalla's new book asserts that it is. In fact, Bhalla asserts that most of the developing world has "caught up" with the industrialised world in terms of economic growth, leading to a significant decrease in global poverty

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Budget as the art of delusion

By John Samuel

The rhetoric of poverty alleviation, healthcare and education for the poor in the Union budget is exposed by the allocations actually made. The plan capital allocation for education has declined from 30 paise per head in 2002-03 to 18 paise in 2003-04. And surely the government doesn't expect the millions who can barely afford a roti a day to pay health insurance premiums?

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Truth, people and a video camera

By Ashok Gopal

Activist-filmmaker Shriprakash's honest, powerful documentaries attempt to capture the struggles and aspirations of local communities in Bihar and Jharkhand

Read more...

ATM cards for Delhi's homeless

A scheme to enable hundreds of homeless people in Delhi to save has given them an identity and a new sense of pride and achievement

Read more...

Identifying the poorest of the poor in Barmer

The dry district of Barmer in Rajasthan, which lies in the Thar desert, has suffered drought for 45 years. The Lok Adhikar Network has been involved in identifying the poorest and most vulnerable groups in this inhospitable region, helping them avail of much-needed government assistance

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Nuakala: Orissa's tribals spin their way out of poverty

In an area stalked by drought, a livelihood initiative for Gond tribal women in Orissa's Kalahandi and Nuapada districts brings about female empowerment and helps alleviate poverty

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Crusading for change

The Hamal Panchayat has assured economic and social security for the unskilled workers of Pune

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Pooling resources to fight hunger

Grainbanks in Chiliguda village, Orissa, help the villagers battle hunger and starvation

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Keeping a pledge

Crops may fail, cattle may die, and schemes may fall through. But, as Vachan realised, what will stay with the people is the ability to challenge a landlord and stand up to a corrupt bureaucrat

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Learning to live without fear

Tribal people in Gudalur, Tamil Nadu, reassert their identity with help from ACCORD. They also become tea planters!

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Functioning collectively

Coolie Sanghas in Karnataka promote entrepreneurship and community livelihood and welfare programmes

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Fighting for their birthright

A massive campaign for land rights in Gujarat forces the state government to grant land titles to thousands of adivasis

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BAIF: The self-help approach

One pregnant crossbred cow changed Noorjahan Mehboob's life. Hundreds of others are being aided by BAIF's holistic approach to rural development

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Harnessing woman power

Wasteland regeneration and other forms of alternative livelihood initiated by Adithi have changed lives in some of the poorest districts of Bihar

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50% of scheduled caste population chronically undernourished: Binayak Sen

Dr Binayak Sen, recently nominated to the Planning Commission’s steering committee on health draws attention to starvation in India and says government policies are only adding to the problem

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Provide cooked meals and change child malnutrition parameters: HC

Melghat’s malnourished children will benefit from a Bombay High Court order directing the Maharashtra government to provide cooked midday meals instead of dry take-home rations, and to consider a more realistic measure for gauging malnutrition

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Rules framed for stricter NREGS audit

To stem fraud in the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the Centre has framed new rules that call for a Directorate of Social Audit at the state level

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New guidelines, hike in wages for MGNREGS workers

States have been told to ensure that work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is completed on time after it was revealed that less than half of all jobs are finished

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Poor human development continues to mar India's growth story

India’s economy is in the top 10 in terms of growth potential, but when it comes to quality of life, especially in health and education, the country ranks 119 among 169 nations, according to the latest Human Development Index released by the UN Development Programme

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NAC wants subsidised food for 75% of Indians

The National Advisory Council has worked out a compromise formula for the Food Security Act keeping in mind budgetary constraints and foodgrain availability. Under the formula, 90% of rural households and 50% of urban households -- that’s nearly 800 million people’-- will have access to subsidised food

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Tea estate turns over new leaf with midday meals

A state government-run tea estate in Wayanad registers record production by introducing free midday meal for its workers. It has incorporated a tourism component to find the resources to feed its 316 tribal workers, most of them women

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Hunger haunts Shining India

The high economic growth in India, unlike in China, has not translated to a rapid reduction of hunger, says a US-based policy think-tank. India ranks 67th in an 84-country ranking, and has more hungry people than even Sudan

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Obama wants developing countries to help themselves

US President Barack Obama has warned that the world will miss ambitious anti-poverty goals if it does not change its approach to aid and development. Speaking at a UN summit, he described development as a strategic issue for all and called upon developing nations to seize their “moment of responsibility”

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Govt to increase storage capacity to curb grain wastage

A team of technical experts from China will be invited to interact with Indian officials on how to improve the country’s warehousing facilities and deal with the problem of rotting grain

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World leaders seek new ways to reach MDGs

World leaders are kicking off a summit at the United Nations headquarters in New York to hammer out new ways to meet ambitious targets set a decade ago to cut poverty, millions of avoidable deaths and improve equality, by 2015

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UN says 925 million people undernourished

For the first time in 15 years, the number of hungry people in the world has declined. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that 925 million people are undernourished -- a significant improvement from the 1.023 billion hungry the organisation counted in 2009

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India to tell London to stop aid next April

India’s external affairs ministry has instructed the finance ministry to inform London that India will not accept further aid from the Department for International Development from next April. DFID is a UK government agency that manages Britain’s aid to poor countries to help alleviate poverty

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Govt gives free phones to poor instead of grain

Over 1,000 below the poverty line (BPL) card holders in Rajasthan got free cell phones instead of free foodgrain as ordered by the Supreme Court. The government felt it was more important to distribute cell phones to the poor in Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology Sachin Pilot’s constituency of Ajmer

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After fortified salt, fortified midday meals to fight malnutrition

As the government struggles to incorporate nutritional aspects into its proposed right to food legislation, industry has offered to engage with the government as a partner

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'Free distribution of foodgrain an order, not suggestion': SC

The Supreme Court reminds Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar that its recent ruling that rotting foodgrain be distributed free among the poor was an ‘order’, not a ‘suggestion’ as interpreted by the minister

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Working group pitches for MNREGS wage raise

The Working Group on Wages, constituted under the auspices of the Central Employment Guarantee Council that governs the functioning of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, in a report, has expressed concern over what it described as a crisis of wage policy, and has suggested a hike

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Plans to end corruption in NREGS with 'Aadhaar'

To combat corruption, the Indian government has decided to go in for the unique identification or ‘Aadhaar’ format to plug loopholes both at the worksite as well as at the time of disbursement of money

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Bangalore homeless: 20 dead, 40 critical in 48 hours

Twenty homeless people suffering from various ailments and old age have died in the past two days. The authorities have ordered a probe and an inspection of the relief centre in Bangalore where they were lodged

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Job guarantee plan falls short of targets

Despite the government’s tall claims, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) has fallen short of its targets

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NAC for food security in one-fourth of districts, for now

The National Advisory Council has decided to make initial recommendations that could be implemented by the end of 2010, without waiting for the Food Security Bill to be finalised and legislated

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Some Indian states poorer than Africa's poorest

Eight Indian states including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal together account for more poor people than the 26 poorest African nations combined, a new ‘multidimensional’ measure of global poverty has revealed

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Poverty rate in India will dip to 24% by 2015

The number of poor people in India is expected to halve by 2015, according to a United Nations 2010 Millennium Development Goals report

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Gujarat launches India's first micronutrient-mix food programme

Introducing micronutrient pre-mix for 44,000 anganwadis across the state, the Gujarat government aims to improve the health of malnourished children with a diet that comprises a pre-mix of soybean, cereals and pulses containing 18-20% protein and 600 gram kilocalories

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Mud for meals: Supreme Court team slams Uttar Pradesh

In April 2010, media reports revealed acute hunger and deprivation in a village in Uttar Pradesh. Now, a Supreme Court inquiry team that visited the area finds the situation is indeed dire

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Slum-dwellers send postcards to Sonia Gandhi on food security bill

The postcard campaign follows reports that the food security Bill that is awaiting passage in Parliament cuts the amount of foodgrain to be made available to below the poverty line families in the public distribution system and ignores above the poverty line families

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India raises official poverty estimate

India’s Planning Commission has adopted the Suresh Tendulkar Committee’s methodology for poverty estimation, which includes spending on education and health, besides calorie intake, taking the number of the country’s poor to a whopping 37.2% from the 27.5% earlier estimated

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New food guarantee scheme likely to be based on Tendulkar report

The Suresh Tendulkar panel report is likely to form the basis of a “reworked and realistic” food guarantee scheme. This was hinted at a recent meeting of the core group of chief ministers on price rise, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

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Rs 6,000 may be new threshold for economically weaker sections

Government surveys reveal that income levels have risen for those designated ‘economically weaker sections’. The government proposes revising the threshold limit for these sections from Rs 3,300 to Rs 6,000 a month

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Economic Survey suggests replacing PDS with food coupons

India’s 2010 Economic Survey suggests doing away with food and fertiliser subsidies and providing the poor food coupons to exchange at market prices

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'Lapses' in NREGA implementation admitted on anniversary day

Even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh admits there have been “lapses” in implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, its architects Jean Dreze and Aruna Roy stay away from a function to mark four years of the scheme’s existence

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SC notice to states/UTs on shelters for homeless

The Supreme Court of India has issued a notice to all states and Union Territories seeking their response to suggestions for setting up night shelters for the urban homeless and community kitchens for poor people

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Employment guarantee scheme under scanner after hunger death

A landless labourer dies on Christmas day after going without food for five days. Neither he nor his wife, who was a job card holder under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, knew they could demand work or avail of unemployment benefits as a right

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New poverty line formula shows increase in number of rural poor

One in three Indians lives below the poverty line according to the Tendulkar Committee report which used a measurement of goods and services, rather than calorie intake, to calculate poverty

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Global hunger worsening, warns UN

More than 1 billion people go to bed hungry every day as the deadly combination of severe food shortages and one of the worst global financial crises in living memory has shrunk food aid to an all-time low, says a UN body

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