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Poverty Line – Where is it anyway?

If one were to look at the last month’s most captivating news headlines – once again it could be said that matters of economics hogged more limelight than the rest. Whether it be the railway budget, Budget 2012-13 or even the Poverty Line.

I came across this article in Forbes, Link: which talks at length about the recent Poverty Line data. In my opinion, if one were to look at what the data is conveying or at least what the committee are trying to communicate to all is that a small change in the poverty levels and voila: we can now say that all the poverty alleviation programmes done in past decade have actually worked! There is something amiss according to me, does a national average or estimate actually give us a right picture? How many of the news-reading population feel Rs29 a day is definitely not enough? A crowdsourcing experiment via Facebook says Rs102 a day in urban areas and Rs66 a day in rural areas would be ideal. But which urban and rural areas did the respondents have in mind?

In my opinion, targeting state-level data would be more feasible. Doing so, at least some clarity can be reached at in terms of what needs to be done. If poverty were tackled at such a level, maybe better programmes can be devised and perhaps even better decision-making. Just my opinion, I think there are better ways of understanding how poor the nation is – but will talking about it and having a ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ state activity-wise would not help. Open to more ideas for discussion though :)


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