Ripples of India’s prosperity touch its poor, by Saritha Rai

Sunday, May 29, 2005

It has been a year since the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh came into power promising to embrace those excluded from the country’s new economic prosperity.

While the impact of his government’s efforts to help the poor – like increasing credit to the country’s many farmers and pumping in money for infrastructure, especially in rural areas – will not show for another few years, experts say, the bounty from the expansion in manufacturing and services that has been putting money in the hands of millions of Indians is now noticeably trickling down.

“What is happening is amazing,” said Joe Paul, the founder and chairman of the Uthsaha Society, a networking group that encourages slum dwellers in Bangalore to become financially independent. “It is a ripple effect.”

For now, though, the ripple is largely an urban phenomenon and seen mostly in the country’s more developed regions. Elsewhere, especially in rural India, millions of poor people continue to eke out a living on less than $1 a day.
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Source: The New York Times