Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Development must include everyone

India has been termed one of the fastest growing countries in the world. It is touted to be superpower along with China. The development that India has achieved is being hailed all over the world. But still so many of us live below the poverty line. So many mothers and children are malnourished. So many prople are starving and homeless. What kind of growth is this?

We hear our politicians speak of their achievements in bringing about so must growth. The TV news channels and newspapers are full of reports about our success story but rarely do we see or hear anything about the plight of the poorest of the poor in our country. 

This eyewash by the media has led people living in cities to believe that each and everyone of the 1.2 billion people in India are prospering. This is surely not the case. There are more poor in India than in the poorest regions Africa, this is a fact. The growth we see on TV or read in the newspapers is only the growth of the middle class, the upper middle class and the rich. The poor continue to remain poor.

Our villages are plagued by drought and lack of basic facilities. Most villages do not get three phase electricity for even 6 hours a day and we in cities complain even if there is no power for 15 minutes. We hail politicians like Narendra Modi who have done so much of development, while completely overlooking the kind of development that has taken place. People are still malnourished in Gujarat, there is still a high infant-mortality rate. These statistics are alarming to me. How can one call that growth when everyone cannot benefit from it?

India's growth according to me is exclusive. I cannot call this growth because it has excluded the majority of the population while only focusing on a small group of the urban population. We must strive to change this trend of inclusive growth. We must educate those who cannot afford an education and teach them their rights. We must demand from the government to first provide basic amenities to people who do not have them. Then we can think about expressways and flyovers and malls and so on.

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