As per the Annual Report of Reserve Bank of India published in 2013, Chhattisgarh is the poorest state in India, with 39.93% of people living below the poverty line. Despite India being the fastest growing economies of the world, its many states are entrapped in grim poverty. On the one hand, India is home to megacities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Delhi, where the majority of people have access to a decent standard of living; on the other hand, there are several states in India where people are not having access to the basic amenities and are living below the poverty line.
The ranks in the Annual Report of Reserve Bank of India is based on the MRP-consumption and are according to the percentage of people living below the poverty line. In India, Below Poverty Line is a benchmark set by the government to identify economically disadvantaged individuals and households in need of government aid. As of 2011-12, the National Poverty Line is Rs 816 per capita per month in rural areas, whereas it is Rs 1,000 per capita per month in urban areas. Chhattisgarh is the poorest state, with 39.93% of the population living below the poverty line. Since 2004, up till 2011-12, there was a nominal reduction of poverty, from 40.9% to 39.93%. Chhattisgarh was followed by Jharkand, with 36.96% of the population living below the poverty line. The SDG India Index & Dashboard, 2019-20, released by the NITI Aayog, uses the same data from the Reserve Bank of India to calculate the poverty score of the states. As per the SDG Index, India is far from achieving its goal of eradicating poverty by 2030. Much of India’s poverty is concentrated in rural areas and low-income States.
Reasons why Chhattisgarh is the poorest state
In spite of being a resource-rich state, Chhattisgarh is the poorest state in India. Almost 80% of the population of Chhattisgarh lives in rural areas, with poor connectivity and limited access to resources. Chhattisgarh also has large areas under forest, and the impoverished rural areas are located near these remote and inaccessible forests. The people of Chhattisgarh are thus left with an unstable and unreliable income, leading to poverty.
Here is the list of states according to the percentage of people below the poverty line:
|S. No.||State/UT||%age of People Below Poverty Line, 2011-12|
|10||Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu||28.79|
|24||Jammu & Kashmir||10.35|
|36||Andaman & Nicobar Islands||1|