What exactly is poverty? The definition of poverty is: the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions.
India is well-known as the ‘country with the highest rate of poverty,’ and although it no longer occupies the number one spot, it is still home to a large population of people and children who live in extreme poverty. In rural areas of India, millions of families struggle to survive. As a result, India is faced with high rates of illiteracy, disease, child labor, and child marriage.
Did you know that approximately 390 million people in India survive on $1.90 a day? That’s about 30% of India’s total population who are not able to afford much more than a bottle of water a day. Sadly, it is a way of life for those who live in rural areas. The children born into impoverished families grow up to be poor themselves. For them, it seems like there is no hope for a better life.
Although hunger is commonplace for the impoverished in India, did you know that almost 40% of the population’s unmet needs consist of clean water, healthcare, and sanitation? Most of the population in rural states lack access to sanitation and any kind of affordable healthcare, falling ill and dying because of curable diseases and sickness.
Unfortunately, the high population growth rate in India is one reason for its high poverty. Many families have more children to increase the number of people in the family who can bring home income. Did you know kids as young as the age of six work in hazardous conditions to help support their families?
Due to such extreme poverty, families even turn to marrying off their daughters for the price of a dowry. Did you know in India, 44.5% of girls are married before they turn 18? Even though it is against the law, young girls are still forced into marriages where they are often abuse. With nowhere to turn to, girl brides face many physical and mental repercussions of being married at such a young age.
Girls and children from impoverished families are often subjected to abuse, but do not have the resources to seek any kind of justice. Did you know that the Indian legal system is denied to them because it is too complicated and expensive? When faced with disputes, families prefer to negotiate directly with the opposing party, have family and friends to arbitrate, or have a village elder be the judge because the costs of litigation are too high.
So what can you do about extreme poverty in India? The most effective way to help is by giving a small donation to our Safe Spaces campaign or sponsor a child! Your gift goes toward a new water well, daycare, and life center for rural villages in India, alleviating poverty through the gift of basic essentials to live. Even just $10 helps provide children with education and a safe space to grow, which is exactly what a child needs to finish school and break the cycle of poverty.