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670 million in rural areas live on Rs.33 per day: SECC

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New Delhi: Seventy-five per cent of rural households in India have a monthly income of less than Rs.5,000 ($79), 51 per cent of households make a living from manual labour, 28 per cent (over 50 million) of households do not have mobile phones or any form of communication.

More than 70 million rural households face some form of exclusion, either from assets or socio-economic benefits, according to data released by the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) survey last week. As many as 833 million Indians, or 69 per cent of the population, live in rural areas.

The SECC report comes at a time when global credit rating agencies such as Moody’s have warned that slow growth in rural India may cripple the overall economy. Rating agencies have laid stress on speeding rural reforms.

Rural Poor and Sources of Income

More than half of rural households depend on manual labour for livelihood, and 75 per cent of the rural population, or 133.5 million families, earn less than Rs.5,000 per month.

“A preliminary analysis reveals a grim picture of rural areas with three in four rural households earning less than Rs.5,000 per month and almost 90 per cent of households have incomes of less than Rs.10,000 per month,” Himanshu (he uses only one name), an agricultural economist with Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University wrote in Mint, citing the findings of the Arjun Sengupta committee (2007), which identified 77 per cent of India’s population as poor.

“Overlooked by the media, these numbers are very close to the estimates of poor and vulnerable derived from other estimates based on the consumption surveys of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). Rs.5,000 per month per household with an average household size of five would also mean an income of Rs.33 per person per day in the rural areas,” wrote Himanshu.

Although it is not meant to be a comparison of poverty estimates, the SECC data reveals that about 670 million Indians in rural areas alone live on Rs.33 per day (75 percent of rural households is around 134,373,569 households; five members per household gives us a total of 671,867,845 people).

rural kutcha village

Poor housing quality

A little less than half of the houses in rural India are kuccha (not solid).

Having a pucca (permanent) house is an indicator of a higher standard of living.

Poverty and a low standard of living are reflected in asset ownership.  While 71 percent of village households have mobile phones, refrigerators and motor vehicles are not very common in rural households.

Education Levels

IndiaSpend recently reported how rural India has more illiterate people than the population of Indonesia. With 74 percent of families living on less than Rs.5,000 a month, this will not change immediately, which in turn will keep economic standards depressed.

Projects such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM), Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) and Swachh Bharat Mission are the major schemes for rural development in India.

Rural India continues to be trapped in a vicious circle of poverty.  A clue to the first step to break out of that cycle comes from what is called the graduation model, a global experiment that could become an anti-poverty guide for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

(IANS/IndiaSpend)

Next Story

Government Following China in Order to Eradicate Poverty, Says Pakistan PM Imran Khan

Talking about uplift programmes for the lower strata of society, he said the government will invest in health and education for poor people, besides providing them easy loans to build their houses

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Imran Khan, Sikh
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan is seen during talks in Beijing, China. VOA

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that his government is following measures taken by the Chinese government to bring their people out of poverty.

Addressing a ceremony here, the prime minister said that the ultimate goal of all the steps taken by his government is to eliminate poverty, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We are making policies to give incentives to industrialists and people involved in textile sector, our motive is to let people make money so that they can produce job opportunities and help people get out of poverty, like China did.”

Imran Khan, Pakistan, China
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during a ceremony in Kartarpur, Pakistan. VOA

He said that China created wealth by industrialisation and later utilised it to uplift the lower strata of the society, adding that like China, his government’s main focus is to eliminate poverty by investing in the people living below poverty line.

Also Read- Actress Kareena Kapoor Khan Believes in Reinvention

He said the government is bringing a comprehensive policy to eradicate poverty in which a coordinated effort will be made by all official welfare departments to provide relief to the poor and needy.

Talking about uplift programmes for the lower strata of society, he said the government will invest in health and education for poor people, besides providing them easy loans to build their houses. (IANS)