There has been a debate raging here about how the politicians/government define poverty. The Planning Commission recently released a report claiming that poverty drop 22% year-to-year. {To put that in context, the government estimates that there are currently about 269 million poor Indians. The ENTIRE US population was 269 million in 1998. Imagine every American you knew in 1998 was poor, dirt poor.} Clearly, one can manipulate the data merely by tweaking the threshold limits of “poverty”. Everything from how much progress is being made to eradicate poverty, to the funds required to help those still impoverished turn on this definition. Wordsmithing matters here.

I do not fell well-informed enough to weigh in on the subject myself, but I found that this article by Monobina Gupta articulated many of my concerns — and provided some helpful facts and context. http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/01/how-not-to-talk-about-poverty-in-india/?src=me

PS note the comment from Narendra Modi, a controversial politician and likely candidate for Prime Minister from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He blames malnutrition on female vanity rather than poverty. {And that’s not even close to his most damning quote…}

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