Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Twenty five per cent of people in India are poor, earning Rs 37 per day in rural and Rs 47 per day in urban areas. Most of them live in environmentally degraded natural resource rich regions. Until 2019, reduction in the number of poor was fastest in India, but Covid pandemic has undone the gain.
The causes of poverty in India are mainly ecological and thus key to reducing poverty lies in halting environmental degradation and management of natural resources wisely.
This was stated by Richard Mahapatra, Environmentalist &Managing Editor, Down To Earth while delivering Mahesh Buch Remembrance Lecture on, Ecological Poverty in the 21st Century: Why some regions remain poor forever in India in Bhopal, on Tuesday. Prof Dhiraj Kumar, Director, National Institute of Design Bhopal presided over the function.
Mahapatra said that 60% of 13.4 crore poor live in Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, UP, Odisha and Chhatisgarh. Alirajpur in MP is the poorest district having 76% of the people living below poverty line. India’s forest cover has a direct relationship with poverty in India - more the forest cover, more the poverty.
Prof Dhiraj Kumar, Director of National School of Design, Bhopal, in his presidential address said it was collective responsibility to seek answer to the problems highlighted by Mahapatra. He suggested that the issue should be discussed at educational institutions and youths be involved with the projects. He further said that he is happy to learn that the farmers of Ralegan Siddhi were paying income tax.
The programme was organised by National Centre for Human Settlements & Environment and Friends of Environment. There were about 150 persons in attendance, which comprised academicians, former bureaucrats, students, members of CSOs and other occupations.
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