India has pulled out 271 million people out of poverty in last ten years, a report by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has said. The report has praised India’s “momentous progress” in reducing multidimensional poverty.
The UNDP, which released in 2018 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) in partnership with the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), said that the incidence of multidimensional poverty has almost halved between 2005-06 and 2015-16, from 54.7% to 27.5%.
Multidimensional poverty takes into account several factors including people’s experience of deprivation due to poor health, lack of education, lack of income, inadequate living standard, poor quality of work, vulnerability to violence etc.
“Although the level of poverty – particularly in children – is staggering so is the progress that can be made in tackling it. In India alone some 271 million have escaped multidimensional poverty in just 10 years,” said Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator.
Jharkhand made the biggest strides among all states in reducing multidimensional poverty, with Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and Nagaland only slightly behind. Delhi, Kerala and Goa have low incidences of multidimensional poverty.
Despite good progress, poverty continues to be a big challenge with 364 million Indians still experiencing acute deprivations in health, nutrition, schooling and sanitation. Moreover, more than half of India’s poor are living in just four states.
Multidimensional poverty is particularly acute – and significant – in the four states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. These accounted for 196 million MPI poor people – more than half of all MPI poor in India, the report added.
Among South Asia countries, only Maldives has lower headcount ratio than India at 1.9%. Other countries Nepal (35.3%), Bangladesh (41.1%), and Pakistan (43.9%) have higher incidences of multidimensional poverty.