Trickle down theory not working in India

June 10, 2008

While “trickle down theory” hasn’t received wide appeal in India, you could make the case that it isn’t appropriate with what’s happening. From the land of the man who owns a billion dollar house, and other moguls (especially appropriate term!) According to the BBC, About 60% children in Madhya Pradesh state are malnourished.

“In the past year food prices have increased significantly, but people’s incomes haven’t improved,” says Dr Agarwal. “Like wheat, earlier they used to buy it at eight rupees a kilogram, now it’s 12 rupees.”

Children wait for a meal outside an Anganwadi centre in Chitori Khurda

“Because of the increase in food prices a mother cannot buy an adequate quantity of milk, fruits and vegetables. So their staple diet has become wheat chapattis,” she explains.

“A child cannot survive on wheat chapattis alone. About 80% of mothers and children are anaemic because they can’t get good quality food.”

To see why things are so bad, we headed out into the villages around Shivpuri. The drought zone stretches across this part of central India. The land is parched and barren. The air hot and heavy.

The village of Chitori Khurda is a ramshackle collection of 80 stone and mud huts on a rocky plain. The villagers here come from the bottom rung of India’s social scale.

Among the lowest of the low in India’s caste system are the Scheduled Tribes, just above them come the Other Backward Castes.

Some links:

Madhya Pradesh Rural Livelihoods Project (MPRLP)

Government understates poverty rate

India: Madhya Pradesh lags in Millennium Development Goals




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