Start with the states
The resulting rise in poverty numbers has been accompanied by increasing inequality between the poor and the rich. The Gini coefficient shows this trend, but it needs no verification. It is visible on the streets — great wealth exists along with acute poverty. While more than 60 per cent of Indians live in villages, less than 5 per cent of all students in engineering colleges and business schools have received K-12 education in village schools. The parents of an even smaller percentage continue to live in the villages. Research in slums has revealed a dominant pattern of intergenerational progression: sons follow fathers or uncles into low-paying professions.
A three-pronged strategy is necessary. Higher quality education and career guidance services need to be combined with a thrust on providing better healthcare services. Recent developments in these directions, innovations by different state governments, give cause for optimism.
Better healthcare is essential for resisting poverty. More than 3.5 per cent of the Indian population falls into poverty each year on account of unaffordable medical expenses, a greater share than
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