Headline September 19, 2016/ ''' STUDENTS *POVERTY* BROADWAY '''



BE THAT IT MAY    -that smart accounting numbers are just numbers. Statistics are just averages. Facts are a dual-edged sword.

These are the contentious statements that we use to justify official figures and our defence of the same by interpreting them in a certain manner.

In the world of knowledge-based  era, we are drawing in information of all types, and many times it becomes difficult to decipher true from false. 

Everyday we read about how the world or any given country, about how it is developing or not developing, how the quality of living has improved or not improved, how the past was better than the future...............

Maybe, maybe, there is that terrible *inequality* within Asia's or the developing world's public agenda. There is a fundamental contradiction somewhere, someplace........ .

THE STARK OBSERVED  TRUTH is  -that in  *Shining Asia* or its regions and countries,...... and whatnot,  -over and much, much above-

One-fifth of human race is immersed- In the  darkness of poverty, misery and utter deprivation  -spiralling urban filthy slums and dusty impoverished villages where life seems to have been stuck in medieval ages.

But it's also the Asia of workers, young students/people, landless peasants, oppressed castes, suppressed women and the impoverished millions struggling and eking to survive.

Take India : It has the largest population of youth in the world with about 66 percent under the age of 35. And dear, dear me!.....  Unemployment is rampant:

In September, last year,  2.3 million people applied for  368 posts of peon in the state secretariat in Uttar Pardesh. Among the applicants were 255 with a PhD degree- and more than 200,000 held  B-Tech, BSc, M.com and MSc degrees.

One million Indians joins the labour  market every month. Most will either end up as unemployed or in the informal sector with wages less than a tenth of those in the formal sector.

But even those employed in industry and services confront a spree of adaptation of  'contract labour'  by the corporate capital and even small-scale  businesses.

Apart from being paid much less than regular employees, contract workers have virtually no job-security, and are denied pensions, gratuity, provident fund and health insurance.      

SINCE THE 1980s   -around a billion people are estimated to have been lifted out of extreme, extreme poverty.

Yet it is intriguing that this decrease is not accompanied by any significant reduction in the gap between the   haves  and   the have-nots. Despite the enormous growth in the global wealth- the so called  *trickle down effects* of this progress remains lacklustre.

*Income inequality has actually increased both within and across countries. The fact that we live in a world in which 72% of the world's poor possess around one  1%  of its wealth indicates how deeply flawed our prevailing models of growth are*.

The emerging climate change related consequences of the relentless pursuit of growth have, in fact, already begun undermining the gains made in poverty reduction over the past several years.

It is thus imperative to focus on making economic growth more equitable and sustainable. Yet, many international development agencies continue focusing on enhancing economic growth and increasing the actual size of the proverbial pie-

So that everyone can get a bigger piece, rather than thinking about how the pie can be made in a more ecologically-friendly manner, and how to redistribute the proportion of its slices, so that everyone gets a decent share.

In the developing world,say Pakistan, the challenge of inequality is quite daunting. According to the latest official data,  consumption-based poverty has dropped from nearly 58 percent   to under  30 percent  between 1998/99  and  2013/14 .

However, based on  Gini  coefficient calculations for the same period, Pakistan's richest  20 percent  now consume  *seven times*  more than the poorest  20 percent.

The latest  Multidimensional Poverty  Index,  [which means health, education and living standards has found stark disparities between rural and urban Pakistan, and with different regions of the country].

For example,  Multidimensional Poverty  is under  32 percent  in Punjab/Pakistan  but rises to nearly, 74 percent  in FATA.

Inequality's insidious effects pervade households too, where women are much worse off than men,

The UNDP  is therefore right in pointing out that Pakistan's institutions, and incentives and laws continue to favour the rich and burden the poor. 

Tax incentives are provided to the elite in the name of encouraging growth-

Alongside the imposition of indirect taxes which disproportionally affect the poor.  Discrimination on the basis of gender, economic status, religion and social identity further restricts upward mobility 

So, as I conclude this part of the poverty spectrum, I venture to add one more observation: In Asia and the  Developing World  rarely does a day go by when the editorial  of one or the other eminent newspaper does not point out-

The figure fudging of the government,   -but sadly, students, professors and teachers and the people are not in any way aware of the impact of these discrepancies.

Therefore, the trumpeting of reserves going up, and this and that  going up and up, and the stock market booming-

Makes enough noise in media to give the ordinary man the perception that this is all there is to economic development.

The Honour and serving of the latest  ''Operational Research on Poverty'' continues. Thank Ya all for reading and sharing forward, and hope to see you on the following one.

With respectful dedication to all the people of the developing world. See`Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and !E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem- 2011: 

''' Future Prospects '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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