Delhi poverty declined to 14 percent this year. Delhi is located in the north of India, on the banks of the Yamuna river (part of the Ganges). Delhi also houses the capital of India, New Delhi. In 2011, Delhi had a population of 22 million, and is the most populated city, or metropolis, in the world. This information means that the lowered rate of poverty is an important statistic to India as a whole. Over a period of about 24 years, the poverty in Delhi decreased from an astonishing 49.61 percent to a much more reasonable 14.7 percent of the population that lived below the poverty line (BPL).
Delhi poverty’s decline to 14 percent was released by the Economic Survey of Delhi, the most recent of which was released earlier this month (March 2013). Originally, in 1973, there were 22.84 “lakh” people BPL. Lakh is equal to 100,000, so there were 2,284,000 people below the poverty line. In 2005, there were 22.93 lakh BPL, or 2,293,000 people. This may seem like an increase; however, although the physical number of people in poverty increased, the overall population also increased significantly, resulting in a lower percentage of the population living in poverty, which is an incredible accomplishment. (In 1999, poverty in Delhi was only 8 percent).
Delhi’s Economic Survey gave the majority of the credit to the Delhi government, who had initiated various poverty alleviation programmes during this time, that reduced the percentage of the population who were living in poverty. Plus, the migration to Delhi was the highest during the last 30 years, and yet the reduction of Delhi poverty was more than the national level; perhaps the entirety of India could learn some lessons from the poverty alleviation programmes in Delhi in order to reduce the level of poverty nationwide. In conclusion, this decline in poverty could represent a positive future in impoverished areas of India, or even further.
– Corina Balsamo