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Multi-dimensional Poverty Index: India 2nd Worst After Afghanistan in South Asia

"India is home to over 340 million destitute people and is the second poorest country in South Asia after war-torn Afghanistan...In South Asia, Afghanistan has the highest level of destitution at 38%. This is followed by India at 28.5%. Bangladesh (17.2%) and Pakistan (20.7%) have much lower levels"  Colin Hunter, Center for Research on Globalization 
Increases in per capita income and human development index are often used as indicators to represent improvements in the lives of ordinary people in developing nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Both of these have significant limitations which are addressed by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI)'s MPI, multi-dimensional poverty index.

The MPI brings together 10 indicators, with equal weighting for education, health and living standards (see table). If you tick a third or more of the boxes, you are counted as poor.

Source: Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative

Eradicating poverty in South Asia requires every person having access to safe drinking water, sanitation, housing, nutrition, health and education.

According to the MPI, out of its 1.2 billion-plus population, India alone is home to over 340 million destitute people and is the second poorest country in South Asia after war-torn Afghanistan, according to Colin Hunter of Canada-based Global Research.

Some 640 million poor people live in India (40% of the world’s poor), mostly in rural areas, meaning an individual is deprived in one-third or more of the ten indicators mentioned above (malnutrition, child deaths, defecating in the open).

 In South Asia, Afghanistan has the highest level of destitution at 38%. This is followed by India at 28.5%. Bangladesh and Pakistan have much lower levels. The study placed Afghanistan as the poorest country in South Asia, followed by India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal, according to Hunter.

Afghanistan is the poorest country in South Asia in terms of multi-dimensional poverty with 66% of its people being poor, followed by India with 54%, Bangladesh with 51%, Pakistan and Nepal at 44%, Bhutan at 27%, and Sri Lanka and the Maldives at 5%, according to Oxford researchers. Among 104 countries ranked by OPHI,  Nepal ranks 82, India 74, Bangladesh 73,  Pakistan 70, Sri Lanka 32 in MPI poverty.

Why has India lagged  behind its neighbors in spite of rapid economic growth in recent years? Here's how Hunter explains it: "The ratio between the top and bottom 10% of wage distribution has doubled since the early 1990s, when India opened up it economy. According to the 2011 Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development report ‘Divided we stand’, this has made India one of the worst performers in the category of emerging economies. The poverty alleviation rate is no higher than it was 25 years ago. Up to 300,000 farmers have committed suicide since 1997 due to economic distress and many more have quit farming."

What Colin Hunter hasn't clearly articulated is the fact that India remains home to the world's largest population of poor, hungry and illiterates who lack even basic sanitation 67 years after the nation's independence from British colonial rule.

As the new Hindu Nationalist government under Narendra Modi begins its anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan campaigns so soon after inauguration, an Indian journalist  Pankaj Mishra reminds Indians  in a recent New York Times Op Ed that that "India’s reputation as a “golden bird” flourished during the long centuries when it was allegedly enslaved by Muslims. A range of esteemed scholars — from Sheldon Pollock to Jonardon Ganeri — have demonstrated beyond doubt that this period before British rule witnessed some of the greatest achievements in Indian philosophy, literature, music, painting and architecture".

It's time for Mr. Modi to shun his bellicose rhetoric (boli nahee goli--India's guns will do the talking) against Pakistan and focus on much more important issues of deep deprivation of his people.

Here's a video on Grinding Poverty in Resurgent India:

Haq's Musings Grinding Poverty in Resurgent India by faizanmaqsood1010

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Comment by Riaz Haq on October 30, 2014 at 4:36pm

15 countries you should be afraid to visit (include India, not Pakistan).

Describes India as "one of the world's most dangerous countries. Crimes in India include arms and drug trafficking, sex crimes, and corruption but is mostly known as one of the most dangerous countries for women."
Here are the names: Colombia, Russia, Mexico, Nigeria, India, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Guinea-Bissau, Yemen, Iraq, Sudan, Central African Republic, North Korea and Syria.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 7, 2014 at 7:23am

Over 3000 unclaimed, unknown dead bodies every year found in #NewDelhi #India 

NEW DELHI — The most lost of the lost people of Delhi end up here, in a cold metal-sided room at the Sabzi Mandi mortuary. They are lying on every available surface, including the blood-smeared floor, some with body parts flung out in the position of their death, protruding from the white plastic bags that are used to store them.

The smooth, sharp curve of a man’s naked hip, all bone and no flesh. A jaw, with teeth. Hands folded over an abdomen as if at rest, or extended in some last intercepted expression of feeling.

In a corner, the bodies are crowded together on the floor. The mortuary attendants say it is so difficult to procure supplies as basic as disinfectant from the government that workers bring soap from home so that they can wash their hands after handling the bodies, many of which are infected with tuberculosis. So it would be unrealistic for the unidentified dead to expect a metal shelf of their own.

“You’ll find them one on top of the other,” said the mortuary’s chief doctor, L. C. Gupta. “Where are we supposed to put them?”

On average, the police in this city register the discovery of more than 3,000 unidentifiable bodies a year — unidentifiable not because they are unrecognizable, but because they carry no documents and there is no one who knows them.

It is an extraordinary number. New York City buries as many as 1,500 homeless or poor people in trenches in its potter’s field on Hart Island every year, but of those, according to an official from the medical examiner’s office who recently spoke to the NY1 news channel, the number who remain unidentified averages around 50.

In Delhi, one regularly encounters the unknown dead: By law, photographs of their corpses must be published in newspapers and posted in police stations, under the Dickensian heading “Hue and Cry Notice.” Protocol requires the mortuary to hold each body for 72 hours so that relatives have a chance to spot the announcements and claim the dead, but Dr. Gupta said they rarely do.

“Nobody reads them,” he said. Police officers are also expected to investigate. Asked about this, Dr. Gupta gave a small, dry smile. “They may or may not try,” he said.

This is no city for the poor. Drive around New Delhi at night, and great numbers of men, women and children can be seen curled up on the sidewalks sleeping, or trying to sleep. These people — “pavement dwellers,” they are called — figure in occasional newspaper articles about drunken drivers whose vehicles jump the curb and plow into a row of sleepers....

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 12, 2014 at 4:15pm

India sterilisations: More Chhattisgarh botched cases

A woman who underwent sterilisation surgery at a government mass sterilisation camp is rushed to Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Sciences (CIMS) hospital in Bilaspur, in the eastern Indian state of Chhattisgarh, 12 November 2014The government has ordered an inquiry into the botched sterilisations

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An Indian woman has died and 15 others are in hospital after being sterilised at a state-run camp in the state of Chhattisgarh on Monday.

It comes just a day after 13 women, who were sterilised at another camp in the state on Saturday, lost their lives.

More than 60 women remain in hospital, many in a critical condition, following tubectomy operations.

Protests have been held over the deaths, and the state government has ordered an inquiry into the operations.

The latest sterilisations took place in the Gaurela area of Bilaspur district in Chhattisgarh.

The woman who died was from the protected Baiga tribe whose dwindling numbers make it illegal to sterilise them, BBC Hindi's Alok Putul reports from Bilaspur.

Authorities in India have been promoting family planning for several decades, trying to convince people to have smaller families.

Women were left on mattresses in the hospital corridor after their surgery, as Yogita Limaye reports

A total of 14 women are now known to have died in Chhattisgarh following the sterilisation operations on Saturday and Monday.

It is unclear what happened during Monday's sterilisation operations.

On Saturday, tubectomies were carried out on 83 women in Pendari village in Bilaspur district, by one doctor and his assistant.

According to government rules, one surgeon should only perform 35 operations in a day.

When the women were brought in to hospital after the operations, they were vomiting continuously and their blood pressure had fallen dramatically, correspondents said.

Negligence claims

A team of doctors from the capital, Delhi, have been flown to Chhattisgarh to help treat the women.

One of the doctors, Anjan Trikha, told reporters that it was still unclear what caused the deaths.

"The cause of illness can only be ascertained after all laboratory results and post-mortem findings are available," he said.

"Our main concern at this time is to ensure that there are no more casualties."

The women told the BBC their operations lasted five minutes, as Yogita Limaye reports

Local health officials have denied any responsibility for the deaths, but some suggested that medics were under pressure from the authorities to perform too many sterilisation operations in too little time.

The Chhattisgarh government has ordered an inquiry into the deaths and Chief Minister Raman Singh has said "it appears the incident occurred due to negligence" by doctors.

Saturday's victims' families, all from poor families, have each been promised compensation of about $6,600 (£4,150).

India's main opposition Congress party called a general strike in Chhattisgarh on Wednesday and demanded the resignation of the chief minister and Health Minister Amar Agrawal.

Sterilisation camps are frequently held to carry out mass tubectomy operations for women - or vasectomies for men - and in some states, health workers receive money for each person they bring to a clinic to be sterilised.

Many of the women who take part are poor, and are often paid to be sterilised.

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 12, 2015 at 9:07pm

#India's Wrong Priorities: As Children Go Hungry PM #Modi Buys Expensive Fighters #France #RafaleDeal via Forbes​


The implications for India, however, are depressing: one more vivid illustration of misguided policies at the expense of the poor. 960 million Indians live on less than $2 a day. Reading the data is one thing; seeing the consequences, as I did recently driving through the slums on the outskirts of Jaipur, is heart-wrenching. Their plight could not be worse. Rafale jet fighters are about the last thing they need!


The greatest means to enhance security in South Asia is not more weapons. Member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) have one of the world’s lowest rates of intra-regional trade. This is especially the case of trade between Pakistan and India. As the early 19th century French political economist Frédéric Bastiat is alleged to have said: “if goods don’t cross borders, armies (or indeed Rafale fighter jets) will”. Both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should have his portrait and quote hung in their respective offices.

Think of the hungry children of India, give back the Rafale fighter jets to France (we’ll survive).

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 31, 2015 at 8:31am

Why witches are still being beheaded in "Shining" #India. Over 2097 killed since 2000. via @usatoday

NEW DELHI, India — Three hundred years after the hysteria in Salem, in some places witch hunts are still terrifyingly real.

Last week, a mob of 200 people in the Indian state of Assam dragged a 65-year-old woman out of her house, stripped her and beheaded her with a machete. They did so because a self-proclaimed “goddess,” who asked them to gather at a local temple, proclaimed that the woman was a witch and would bring bad luck and illness to the village.

In a country teeming with IT graduates and higher-education institutes, such attacks are sadly and strangely common. Ninety people in Assam, a majority of them of them women, lost their lives in the last six years because they were branded as witches. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, 2,097 murders between 2000 and 2012 were committed when the victims were accused of practicing witchcraft.

With a more active regional media, horrific instances have come to light. Earlier this year, a woman in the state of Odisha was force-fed human excrement for practicing witchcraft. Last October in Assam, hundreds tied up an athlete in a fishing net and tortured her for being a witch. She had represented Assam in several national meets, and won a gold medal for javelin. In 2011, a mother and daughter in Assam were accused of witchcraft, and raped as punishment.

Superstitions like the wearing of gemstones and rings to bring good luck, or marrying on an auspicious day are common across India, and many are not violently harmful. Even in Assam, “good” witches were once socially accepted because of their purported ability to heal maladies. “Even today in many villages, because of the lack of medical facilities, people would go to a witch or a village doctor who can perform some magic to cure you,” said Chandan Kumar Sharma, a sociology professor at Tezpur University, which is located in the district where last week’s beheading took place.

“Modern society is not a monolith. Although we are modern, many segments of our society are still very backward, where education and a scientific temperament have still not reached,” said Sharma, who studies the social and ethnic practices of the Indian northeast. “Everybody knows law enforcement is very weak, and they also play on the ignorance and superstitions of the villagers,” he said of the “goddesses.” Some who practice “white magic” are believed to have the ability not only to cure people, but also to detect witches who practice black magic.

According to Sharma, witch-hunting is most common in the economically and socially marginal tea tribal communities, called so because their ancestors were brought to Assam by the British in the 19th century to cultivate the plantations. At least four other communities in Assam also believe in witchcraft, and their isolation in remote, mountainous areas has allowed these superstitions to persist even after mainstream society has abandoned them.

Because of the uneven terrain and heavy rainfall in the region, many villages are entirely cut off from more developed parts of the state. Healthcare and law enforcement are hours away, and education even more remote. “Until we make these areas accessible, literate and conscious, these kinds of things will keep happening,” says Sharma.

Non-governmental and social organizations, some founded by victims of witch-hunting themselves, have been working on raising awareness against these beliefs. Brothers, an organization that promotes development in Assam, has worked on in areas where such superstitions are rampant, and has assisted in rescuing and providing medical services to victims. Over the last few years, the organization has also initiated its own awareness campaigns against beliefs in witchcraft.

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 23, 2016 at 6:50pm

Pakistan's first ever official report on multidimensional poverty launched here on Monday showed a strong decline, with national poverty rates falling from 55 percent to 39 percent from year 2004 to 2015.

However progress across different regions of Pakistan is uneven. Poverty in urban areas is 9.3 percent as compared to 54.6 percent in rural areas. Disparities also exist across provinces.

The report launched by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, details Pakistan's official Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) which was earlier published in the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2015-16.

The report has been complied with technical support from UNDP Pakistan and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford.

According to the report, nearly 39 percent of Pakistanis live in multidimensional poverty, with the highest rates of poverty in FATA and Balochistan.

The report found that over two-third of people in FATA (73 percent) and Balochistan (71 percent) live in multidimensional poverty. Poverty in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa stands at 49 percent, Gilgit-Baltistan and Sindh at 43 percent, Punjab at 31 percent and Azad jammu and Kashmir at 25 percent.

There are severe difference between districts: Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi have less than 10 percent multidimensional poverty, while Qila Abadullah, Harnai and Barkhan, all in Balochistan, have more than 90 percent poverty.

Deprivation in education contributes the largest share of 43 percent to MPI followed by living standards with contributes nearly 32 percent and health contributing 26 percent. These findings further confirm that social indicators are very weak in Pakistan, even where economic indicators appear healthy.

The report also found that the decrease in multidimensional poverty was slowest in Balochistan, while poverty levels had actually increased in several districts in Balochistan and Sindh during the past decade. The level and composition of multidimensional poverty for each of Pakistan's 114 districts are also covered in this report.

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, said, Pakistan has set zero poverty goal much before the year 2030, adding,the reduction of multidimensional poverty is one of the core objectives of Pakistan's Vision 2025.

He said, inclusive and balanced growth, which benefits everyone and especially the marginalized communities, is government priority and is essential for promoting harmony in society.

MPI is a useful instrument for inform public policy for targeting, budgeting, resource allocation and inclusion.

Pakistan's MPI establishes baseline not for only Vision 2015, but also for Pakistan's progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and complements the consumption-based poverty estimates recently released by the government.

UNDP Country Director, Marc Andre Franche said,"We consider this a highly innovative approach because of its multi-faceted nature and the availability of estimates at the sub-national level."

Multidimensional poverty provides useful analysis and information for targeting poverty, and reducing regional inequalities.

Many countries are using MPI to inform government priorities for planning and it is encouraging to see government of Pakistan adopting MPI to complement monetary poverty measure in Pakistan, he added.

Director OPHI, Dr Sabina Alkire congratulated Pakistan on launching the national MPI as an official poverty measure. 

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 23, 2016 at 6:50pm

All the SAARC countries lie in different categories. Like Bangladesh, Nepal and India are in high MPI countries, means there is poverty more than 50%. On the other hand Pakistan and Bhutan are in medium category, and Sri Lanka and Maldives are in low MPI countries. The data of MPI of Afghanistan is not given due to unavailable sources for the collection of the data.

Multi-dimensional poverty index is an international measure of acute poverty covering over 104 countries.
As everyone knows that Poverty is measured as a single dimensional index such as income. But income alone misses
a lot because India is growing fast in economic perspective but health, education and living standard not improved
yet. It is the fact that India’s per capita income lies in one of the top countries in the world but if we look on the
other aspects like health, education and standard of living, then we find that India is not so good in the other aspects
rather than the income. India lies on 73rd position from 104 countries with a 53% multidimensional poor. Among
the 29 states, some states of India having high per capita income, yet lies in the high multidimensional poverty index.
It means those states have high per capita income but lacks in the health and standard of living. Some states like
Kerala is in very good position in Multidimensional poverty index while remaining states are in very bad position in
MPI according to OPHI. MPI illuminates a different set of deprivation and reflects the deprivation in very
rudimentary services and core human functioning for people. It shows the number of people who are
multidimensional poor and the number of deprivation with which poor household typically content. 

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 21, 2017 at 7:53am

Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2017

The 2017 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) provides a headline estimation of poverty and its composition for 103 countries
across the world. The global MPI measures the nature and intensity of poverty, based on the profile of overlapping deprivations each poor
person experiences. It aggregates these into meaningful indexes that can be used to inform targeting and resource allocation and to design
policies that tackle the interlinked dimensions of poverty together.
Sabina Alkire and Gisela Robles

• Half of the MPI poor people live in destitution.
• In six countries and 117 subnational regions, 50% or
more of people are destitute.
• Most of the highest levels of destitution are found in SubSaharan
• Pakistan has more destitute people – 37 million – than
East Asia and the Pacific (26 million) or the Arab States
(26 million).
• India has more destitute people (295 million) than SubSaharan
Africa (282 million).

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 10, 2019 at 9:53am

Sensitivity of Multidimensional Poverty Index in Pakistan
Farzana Naheed Khan
and Shaista Akram

The study estimates multidimentional poverty in Pakistan following Alkire-Foster methodology.
The analysis is based on Pakistan Social and Living Standard Measurement Survey 2004-05 and
2014-15. The study adopts expert opinion weights, frequency-based weights and equal weights for
the provision of estimates of MPI at national and provincial levels. The results show that the
estimates of MPI range from 14% to 20% at national level and these estimates are quite sensitive
to the choice of weights. Whereas, equal weights always underestimate the magnitude of poverty.
Moreover, the inter-temporal analysis of poverty reveals that the intensity of poverty has lower
contribution in the reduction of multidimensional poverty in Pakistan. Therefore, the deprived
regions of the country should be focused separately (especially the deprived districts of
Balochistan) to target poverty. Besides, the regional allocation of resources can be made
according to the intensity of poverty. The study concludes that the measurement of poverty is a
complex phenomenon and it is quite sensitive to the choice of weights. So, the researcher should
be careful about the choice of weighting scheme while providing estimates of multidimensional
The Table 2 shows the estimates of MPI for the PSLM 2004-05 and PSLM 2014-15. The study
has adopted expert opinion weights for the computation of MPI while these weights are taken from
Pakistan Economic Survey (2016).
a The multidimensional poverty estimates show that 28.8% of
the population was multidimensionally poor according to the PSLM 2004-05 while 19% of the
population is multidimensionally poor according to the PSLM 2014-15. The Table 2 also shows
that rural poverty is a critical issue in Pakistan as reported MPI is higher for rural areas of Pakistan
as compared to the urban areas of Pakistan for both data sets. This result is consistent with the
earlier poverty studies for Pakistan (Naveed and Ali, 2012; Sallauddin and Zaman, 2012; Pakistan
Economic Survey, 2016).


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    ہٹلرنے جو جرمنی میں کیا وہ بھارت کشمیر میں کررہا ہے: جنرل زبیرحیات

     چیئرمین جوائنٹ چیفس آف اسٹاف کمیٹی جنرل زبیرحیات نے کہا ہے کہ ہٹلرنے جو جرمنی میں کیا وہ بھارت کشمیر میں کررہاہے جب کہ کلبھوشن

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    لندن میں اوورسیز کمیونٹی کی طرف سے دیے…


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