What is POVERTY?
Poverty is the state of being extremely poor. If we say someone is experiencing poverty, then we mean that the person is living on a bare subsistence level.
Poverty in India
India suffers from a lot of poverty, which means that many people do not have enough money. 27.5% of the population was living below the poverty line in 2004–2005. Monthly per capita consumption expenditure is below Rs. 356.35 for rural areas and Rs. 538.60 for urban areas. 1 out of every 4 Indians earns less than $0.40 per day. 75% of the poor are in rural areas. Most of them are daily wagers and landless labourers.
A study was done by the McKinsey Global Institute. This study found 54% of the people living in India were living on a household income of less than 90,000 rupees a year. That means about a dollar per person per day.
National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) published a report in 2007. This report states that 77% of Indians (that means 836 million people), lived on less than 20 rupees per day (USD 0.50 nominal, USD 2.0 in PPP). Most of them have no job or social security. They live in abject poverty.
One of the problems with estimating poverty in India is a lack of consistent and reliable numbers. McKinsey study quoted above (46% at $1 a day or above for a household size of 5) is off by a factor compared to 77% under $0.5 a day by NCEUS. To add insult to injury here are some industry numbers that do not fit well with 77% under $0.5 a day.
The number of cell phones in India was 250 Million in Jan 2008; about 400 million in mid 2009 and slated to easily cross 500 Million in 2010 with a current growth rate of over 10 million new cell phones a month. A growth that is clearly not abating. At $20–$200 per cell phone and $0.02-$0.04 a minute rate, it is a luxury that folks earning $1 a day cannot afford after paying for food, housing, and clothes.
2001 numbers for basic amenities from census bureau for percentage household...