franchab  / François CHABRERIE
Image credit: franchab / François CHABRERIE

Special to

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has urged India to wake up and deal with her monumental poverty crisis at an emergency level.

In a statement in Nevada (USA) today, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, expressed shock at a recent study which pointed out that eight states of India had more poor people than 26 poorest nations of Africa combined. According to the report, these states of India had 421 million poor, while there were only 410 million poor in the poorest countries of Africa.

Rajan Zed further said although India was on track to become a global power, but her new prosperity had remained evasive for many. Despite economic miracle, many Indians still lived in desperate poverty. Inequalities in opportunities blocked poor people from participating in the growth process and they remained trapped in vicious cycle of poverty. It was blight on a country, which prided herself on having joined the league of hottest growth economies.

Zed argued that problems like severe malnutrition; spiraling food prices; ineffectual government programs; lack of access to medical facilities, potable water, energy sources, sanitation; illiteracy; etc., needed to be immediately dealt with. According to an estimate, about one third of world’s poor lived in India.

Rajan Zed also appealed to India’s billionaires/millionaires, who had enormously benefited from India’s economic growth, to pledge some of their wealth to charitable causes aimed at poverty eradication. Quoting scriptures, Zed said that charity was a duty, which should be undertaken with sympathy and modesty. Religions should also put their share in poverty elimination programs in the communities of India.