“In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed’’. Confucius
According to one statistic, India has the third highest number of billionaires in the Forbes list behind the United States and China. India barely had any billionaires during the pre-liberalisation era. The growth of a number of billionaires is commendable however it raises important questions about the development story of India itself.
Growth has reached only a few
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of average achievement in key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable and have a decent standard of living. India’s position in the ranking of HDI is 130 while in 1991 it was 133. The inference is, development and the consequent availability of additional resources have not been invested “adequately” in improving health and education for the masses. To put in perspective Srilanka ranks 73 in the same HDI ranking whilst the ten countries ahead of us includes Iraq, Morocco and Tajikistan among others.
Social Expenditure is woefully low
Expenditure on education as a proportion of GDP stands at 3.4% in 2014-15 which is woefully low compared to the Kothari Commission (set up in 1964-65) and National Education Policy recommendation that recommended 6 percent of GDP.
Health expenditure as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2014-15 (BE) is 1.2 percent, one of the lowest in the world. Low health and education expenditures mean, the vast majority of the population could not get the chance to capitalize on India’s growth story.
How do we define developed country
National development refers to the ability of a nation to improve the lives of its citizens. Measures of improvement may be material, such as an increase in the gross domestic product, or social, such as literacy rates and availability of healthcare. While it is more than welcome that billionaires are rising in India, however, policymakers should focus on inclusive development by improving the health and education of the masses so that they could contribute to the growth of the country.
The Logical Indian requests the citizens of our country to raise their voice to the politicians and parties they voted and demand for better investment in health and education to ensure the benefits of development reaches to the maximum.
It is the 21st century and India is developing rapidly, however, the pace of development in rural and urban India is varying due to the lack of accessibility and opportunities in rural India. While children in these areas have limited access to quality education leading to unemployment and social exclusion, women are still at the back seat of household decision making and contribution to household income.
To break through the traditional norms and empower women in rural India is an ongoing endeavor. Project Nand Ghar, spearheaded by Vedanta Group, a globally diversified natural resources company, brings a ray of hope to rural India by providing education, nutrition, and healthcare to thousands of rural children and empowering women to gain economic independence through livelihood training workshops.
Nand Ghars are state-of-the-art modern Anganwadis built across rural India with a holistic approach to child welfare and skill development for women. Trade-based skill training workshops carried out at Nand Ghars have impacted women from the remotest part of the country enabling them to earn their own livelihood.
Their recent campaign on International Women’s Day was a celebration of #BalanceForBetter where women shared their stories of discovering pathways to self-reliance with help and support by Nand Ghar.
“The outside world was a far off reality for me from inside the boundary of our house. Nand Ghar helped open up the horizons and today, I am earning a livelihood and have found a purpose in Life,” says Dharma Maurya from Varanasi.
Thousands of women like Dharma Maurya have in them the urge to do something but do not have a platform, to begin with. Nand Ghar is giving them a purpose in life and wings to their dreams. Click on the link below to explore their stories.
Anil Agarwal, Founder, and Chairman, Vedanta Group, believes that a nation can only progress if we invest in the future of children and women. Vedanta in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development aims at constructing 4000 Nand Ghars across 11 states in India with the potential of impacting lives of 8.5 Cr children and 2 Cr women in rural India.
In a milestone achievement, Vedanta recently announced the inauguration of its’ 500th Nand Ghar at Chaksu Block in Jaipur. Today, 502 operational Nand Ghars across Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh are changing the lives of 17,000 children through pre-school learning imparted through advanced teaching with more than 11,000 of them being served nutritious meals every day. More than 8,000 women have obtained trade based skill training at Nand Ghar.
With more than 70% of the population living in rural India, the need for early childhood education and women empowerment cannot be undermined. The Logical Indian appreciates the efforts of Vedanta which is tirelessly working towards transforming the women and child development landscape in India.