Nitin Rao

The “Other India”

The In the context of fast and unequal growth in India’s economy, Outlook magazine released its special issue on its annual State of the Nation survey.

Using India’s poorest district – Bolangir (Orissa) – as an example, the issue attempts to document how fast paced growth in an urban economy can be seemingly meaningless for a large population. The issue, available online, is also a useful resource in terms of statistics on various Socio-Economic Indices.

With initiatives such as the NREG (National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) being rolled out, experts from industry and government have given their perspectives on the issues that will matter in delivering to the “other India”.

An excerpt:

There’s a certain exuberance and excitement; there’s a growing feeling that India, with its 9 per cent plus growth, is ready to take on the world and make a mark on the global map. The recent high-profile takeovers by Indian businessmen like Ratan Tata and Kumarmanglam Birla has added to that confidence. Not to forget the fact that the services epicentre has shifted to India’s Bangalore and Hyderabad.

But still, there’s a huge chunk of population?250-300 million people?who have been categorised as poor. The numbers will swell if one includes the households whose earnings are below Rs 10,000 a year. This is the “Other India”, the India that’s neither talked about nor discussed. This is the dark and ugly face of the country, which stands out in stark contrast with the one that’s glowing. This is the India that silently suffers, even as it sees the other half prospering. This is the “nearly-forgotten” India.