22 Oct : Acclaimed Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed has congratulated India on the launch of ambitious Chandrayaan-1, its indigenously built satellite system, which carries an unmanned exploration mission to the moon.
It was a major milestone for India and we were proud of it, Zed said in a statement from Nevada (USA) today.
After this success, it was opportune time for India to deal with its monumental crisis of poverty, which was a biggest challenge facing India today and should be handled at an emergency level, Zed pointed out.
Rajan Zed, who is the president of Universal Society of Hinduism, says that although India is on track to become a global power, but her new prosperity has remained evasive for many. Despite economic miracle, many Indians still live in desperate poverty. Inequalities in opportunities block poor people from participating in the growth process and they remain trapped in vicious cycle of poverty.
Zed argues that income gaps are widening fast in India, where about one third of world’s poor live. Wealth distribution and growth have been uneven across various economic and social groups, urban and rural populations, and geographical regions. Large population of India works in informal labor sector, with no steady jobs and no social security. The number of poor living on less than $1.25 a day has increased. It is blight on a country, which prides herself on having joined the league of hottest growth economies.
Rajan Zed further says that problems like severe malnutrition; spiraling food prices; ineffectual government programs; lack of access to medical facilities, potable water, energy sources, sanitation; illiteracy; etc., need to be immediately dealt with. Poverty has lead to many other societal problems, which the country faces today. Basic inequalities need to be addressed if India wants all of her people to be able to share the fruits of the growth.
Religions should also put their share in poverty eradication programs in the communities. Large corporations, which have enormously benefitted from India’s economic growth, are also obligated to cater to social and environmental concerns and should take responsibilty in poverty elimination, Zed points out.
Zed warns that India should wake up to the magnitude of the emergency of poverty. Raising people above the poverty line is an achievable task. It just needs strong political and social will. Make it a policy priority; treat it as a crisis, he adds.