Saturday, September 2, 2017

With 22 per cent population, South Asia has only 1.3 per cent of world’s income

While South Asia houses 22 per cent of the world’s population, the region, however, has only 1.3 per cent of the world’s income, according to a report.
Sharing some of the findings of the triennial report on the poverty scenario in South Asian countries – produced by the Nepal-based South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE) – released at the Institute for Development Communication (IDC), today regional coordinator of SAAPE Prof Netra Timsina, said that the idea that the market will correct imbalances through demand and supply has led to the gradual withdrawal of the state from publicly providing services such as education and health.
A Chandigarh-based study circle, ‘Dialogue Highway’, in collaboration with the IDC, facilitated the release of the report.
"The SAAPE report, in its essence, brings out the failure of South Asian countries to lift their masses out of poverty and withdrawal of the state from providing basic needs such as food, education, health and safety to the people at the margins,” Dialogue Highway managing trustee Devinder Sharma said.
SAAPE is a regional platform of civil society organisations, social movements and people’s network fighting against the structural causes of poverty and social injustice in the region and beyond.
While launching its fifth Poverty Report, SAAPE, which has been publishing the triennial South Asia Poverty Report since 2003, questioned the existing development paradigm. This report is a knowledge document that brings out the commonality of experiences of all South Asian countries.
Punjabi University vice chancellor Prof BS Ghuman said that the report should form the part of the policy planning. "A social audit of poverty alleviation programmes should also be included in the process to assess the results of poverty eradication," he said, adding that the policy should not be top down but participatory.
In a scholarly exposition, IDC director Dr Pramod Kumar said the state had been usurped by the market and the people at the margins do not have a voice.