The US government releases every year the income distribution of all the wage earners in its country. If you are working in the US, you can find out about what percentile your income is at. The data is available like the 10th, 20th, 30th ……. 99th percentile. Poverty is also defined clearly. A family of four is considered poor if their income is around 20 thousand dollars. Other data such as the median individual as well as family income are also available. If one were to look at the data, one will find that the median household income and per capita GDP have not changed for the last few years more. This is primarily due to the 2008 sub-prime crisis. The US government ensures that all strata of the population are adequately looked after through their various social security initiatives namely young and old, working and unemployed.
Indian population of 1.2 billion could be classified in a similar manner. We can have a well-defined strata and so one can easily identify himself or herself as to where he or she belongs. The strata that 1 created are as follows
This includes all the people under the age of 21. We have a disproportionately huge number of them. The members in this group have huge aspirations. They want education, skill development and lucrative jobs.
There is sizable population above the age of 60. These people have been in the workforce either in the organized or unorganized sector and retired to enjoy the remaining life available to them. Their income primarily comes from either pension or savings or both. The group is extremely sensitive to price changes like the cost of food and healthcare.
This is basically the working population of India. They face all challenges and uncertainties. They need to acquire and adapt to new skills to survive in this competitive world. They need to save and invest to look after the family, educate children and take care of old parents. If you belong to these strata, your position is not enviable. Between expectation and performance there could be a large gap.
This is almost half of India that is illiterate or semi illiterate, no steady job depending heavily on government subsidy and handouts, living in utter poverty frequently begging and also eyesore of the whole society. You look at them. Your heart fills with anger. Even after 70 years of independence why this gap exist and in fact this strata people are increasing in number day by day. The government have failed in their responsibility and we as citizens hope that somehow the economic wellbeing of these people are improved.
The new government should address the issues of all these groups with compassion and care. If we can prioritize and say that, the welfare of the various stratas will be looked after in the near term and to eliminate strata 4 completely.
Finally we pride ourselves as Indians and if so why do we allow this abject poverty. Talking of social inclusiveness is no use but one must act to achieve this. God will bless the government who will address this issue. Mr. Prime Minister you will receive my highest respect if you give top priority to this issue and assured that my fellow citizens will ensure your continuity in power with their votes.