India’s Self-Reliance Not As Simple As Some Brits Like to Think reports Payday Ninja
Country’s sheer size dictates necessity for help during growth period
If all of this is true, why are British taxpayers spending £280 million to help India address it's poverty and disease issues?
According to pub-logic, it seems to be that there is little need for Britain's Department of International Development to aid India at all. When the economic climate of a country such as Britain's is as tumultuous as ever, a country with such supposed economic stability, with double-digit growth, may seem superfluous and unnecessary.
The thought would be that if a country can invest in a nuclear arsenal, then they surely can invest in infrastructure like schools, roads, and social welfare of all types.
Simply put, the issue is much deeper than that, as much as the average pub conversation may assume.
India is not what one should consider a rich country. What wealth there is has been almost solely allocated to the tiny portion of elite citizens. The World Bank released recent studies that showed the 1.2 billion in population survives on less than a dollar per day, on average. One in three of the world’s malnourished children can be found within the Indian border.
The size of the country means that the general needs of those who are impoverished cannot get the leg-up they need, let alone government handouts.
Owen Barder, a development expert, pointed out on twitter: “There are more poor people in eight Indian states than in the 26 poorest African countries combined."
While the glitz and glamor of Bollywood, along with a T20 cricket franchise may trip some into assuming otherwise, there is much work that must be done to make India a self-sufficient country.
That begs the question: Should and can India to the heavy lifting itself?
The answer is simple: Of course it should, but that is no reason to withhold aid to those within the country who sincerely need it. Unless one believes the Indian government will transform overnight into a fully sufficient power, competent redistribution is likely to be a slow and gradual process, even if everything goes right. Withholding aid does not make New Delhi a sudden paragon of wealth cultivation. Nor does withholding aid mean that allocated funds will mean those within the forgotten areas such as Bihar and Orissa prosperous or helped at all by the government.
The true trouble is the new way the DfiD is handling its business. Difficult and controversial projects, will fall by the wayside in favor of simple interventions as it stands now.
That could mean no cash to a country like India would quickly cause a large growth in disparity amongst the classes of India. That is a scenario that has, throughout history, not boded well once for the majority of the populous.
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