What Does Poverty Look Like in India?

We talk a lot about poverty in rural North India, but what does it look like? It means that 140 million people live on less than $2 a day per person, and another whopping 1.15 billion live on $2 to $10 a day. Only about 70 million live on $10 to $20 a day, and just 15 million live on $20 to $50 a day.

To put these numbers in perspective, $2 a day translates to living on a meager $730 for the whole year, and $10 a day translates to just $3,650 annually. The US poverty line is almost $13,000, or $34 a day. Many Indian daily wage workers are supporting an entire family, and they make just $3.50 to $6 for a full day’s hard labor. Many of these families’ homes are one-room structures made from sticks filled in with mud. They own very few personal possessions and many cannot afford to send their children to the local school (basic K-12 education is not free in India). Many survive on just rice and lentils.