I advise all my readers to go through that article. For those who cant, for them I am presenting some of the numbers from the article here.
The below numbers from a survey covered all dalit households in two blocks in UP, one in the relatively prosperous west (Khurja) and one in the backward east (Bilariaganj), between 1990 and 2008.
- Pucca houses rose from 18.1% to 64.4% in the east & from 38.4% to 94.6% in the west.
- TV ownership improved from virtually zero to 22.2% and 45% respectively.
- Cellphone ownership increased from almost nothing to 36.3% and 32.5% respectively.
- Fan ownership, curbed by electricity shortages, rose to 36.7% and 61.4% respectively.
- Bicycle ownership up from 46.6% to 84.1% in the east and from 37.7 to 83.7% in the west.
- Ownership of two-wheelers improved from almost zero to 7.6% and 12.3% respectively.
- In times of distress, dalits historically mortgaged jewelery to upper caste lenders. The proportion that does so has dropped from 75.8% to 29.3% in the east and from 64.6% to 21.2% in the west.
- The proportion eating roti-chutney for lunch, socially viewed as low-class food, has fallen from 82% to just 2% and 9% in the two zones.
- The proportion of kids eating the previous night’s leftovers plummeted from 95.9% to just 16.2% in the east.
- The proportion eating broken rice fell from 54% to 2.6% in the east, and from 22.7% to 1.1% in the west.
- Per capita availability of dal in India has been falling. So it’s heartening that dalits consuming dal are up from 31% to 90% in the east, and from 60.1% to 96.9% in the west. This may be one cause for rising dal prices.
- Traditionally, dalits were mainly agricultural labourers. In the reform era, they have diversified into non-traditional work. The dalit proportion benefiting from migrant relatives is up from 14% to 50.5% in the east, and from 6.1% to 28.6% in the west.
- The proportion running their own business is up from 4.2% to 11% in the east and from 6% to 36.7% in the west.
- The proportion in agricultural labour has plummeted from 76% to 45.6% in the east and from 46.1 to just 20.5% in the west.
- Per capita income is growing almost 10 times faster than in the Nehru-Indira era, and dalits are sharing the new prosperity.
So all this happened last 10-15 years helped by LPG (Liberalization, Privatization & Privatization) which is initiated by then Government in 1992 (Manmohan Singh) & 1997 (P Chidambaram)
The point is, after 1997 we haven't seen any revolutionary reform from the government due to various reasons. So when we are thinking about achieving double digit GDP growth next decade, we cant be complacent thinking history & past reforms, we need to take certain bold steps.
And once government does its part then comes turn of Private sector & common man of contributing to their share.
In today's same STOI, I read an article from Chetan Bhagat. Its also good article, you can have look at it also...