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Chandigarh

Posted at: Sep 3, 2017, 2:38 AM; last updated: Sep 3, 2017, 2:38 AM (IST)

With 22 % population, South Asia has only 1.3 % of world’s income: Report

Details on poverty scenario in South Asia released for first time in north India
With 22 % population, South Asia has only 1.3 % of world’s income: Report
A speaker addresses the gathering during an event at the Institute for Development Communication in Chandigarh on Saturday. A Tribune Photo

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 2

A triennial report on the poverty scenario in South Asian countries was released for the first time in north India at the Institute for Development Communication (IDC), here today.

The report has been produced by the Nepal-based South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE). A Chandigarh-based study circle, ‘Dialogue Highway’, in collaboration with the IDC, facilitated the release of the report.

Dr Harish Khare, Editor-in-Chief, The Tribune Group of Publications, released the report at the mega event. This was followed by a ‘Dialogue on governance for the margins with reference to South Asia’. A special lecture on ‘Contesting claims of inclusion of diversity: Challenges and opportunities’, was delivered by one of the country’s foremost sociologists, Prof Shiv Vishwanathan.

While addressing the gathering, Vishwanathan said: “We need to ask if the Indian Constitution is complete to deal with the aspirations of a diverse people, the nature. Is it violent, built on genocide of dialects? Does it represent the voice of the defeated, minority and those at the margins? I suggest that the Constitution should include diversity and the nature as its purpose.”

“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.

Dialogue Highway has participation from France also.

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.

While sharing some of the findings of the report, Prof Netra Timsina, regional coordinator, SAAPE, Nepal, said: “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. 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.”

Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor Prof BS Ghuman said 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. The policy should not be top down but participatory. In a scholarly exposition, Dr Pramod Kumar, Director, IDC, said the state had been usurped by the market and the people at the margins do not have a voice.

Nepal-based SAAPE produced the report

The report has been produced by the Nepal-based South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE). A Chandigarh-based study circle, ‘Dialogue Highway’, in collaboration with the IDC, facilitated the release of the report. 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.

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