Indians since time immemorial has promoted peace and now lives with the ‘chalta hai’ (let it be) attitude. So, anything wrong does not matter much to us, whether it is related to government, corruption, condition of roads, crimes by ‘godmen’, or anything else. Activists are there to lead the crowd and enlighten the society, but most of the times they do not get good response and the ones who do get good response are generally not worthy of it. Though India needs several changes at present, there are few important ones that should be immediately tackled.
Major Issues in India
The most widely spread endemic in India is corruption, which must be handled quickly and wisely. There is hardly any office, in both private and public sector, that is untouched from this disease. There is no telling how much loss has the economy suffered because of this. Though most of us are concerned, when the time comes to act, we, the people of India, are found lacking.
The percentage of illiteracy in India is alarming. Every five persons among ten in India are illiterate. The condition in villages is worse than in cities. Though a number of primary schools have been set up in rural India, the problem persists. Also, providing education just to children won’t solve the problem of illiteracy, as many adults in India are also untouched by education.
The education system of India is blamed every now and then for being too theoretical but not practical and skill-based. Students study to score marks, not to gain knowledge. This so-called modern education system was introduced by the colonial masters to create servants who could serve but not lead, and we still have the same education system. Rabindranath Tagore had written many articles offering suggestions to change the education system of India. But still success is as elusive as ever.
Sanitation is yet another problem, but one of the biggest, in India. There are about 700 million people who have no access to toilets at home. Slum areas do not have toilets. People are thus forced to defecate in open, which causes numerous diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, dehydration etc. Many rural schools also have no toilets, because of which parents do not send their kids, especially girls, to school. Due attention was drawn towards this problem by Gandhi-ji but nothing much was done. A growing population is the biggest challenge causing these problems. For example, the sewage system in Delhi was designed to meet the needs of a population of three million people. But Delhi now has more than 14 million of population. This is not just the case of Delhi; every state and region in India is the same.
It is true that world’s the most populous democratic country cannot provide proper healthcare facilities to its entire population. India is becoming a hub for medical tourism but all these facilities are not available to local residents, who are poor. Healthcare is a neglected issue in India, as major attention drawers are agriculture, infrastructure and IT. Lack of resources in rural India is a major concern of the day, leading to most of the problems. 50% of all villagers have no access to healthcare providers; 10% of babies die within a year of their birth; lack of nutrition caused stunned growth in 50% of all the babies; and 33% people in India have no access to toilets.
A third of the world’s poor live in India, and 37% of the total population in India lives below the international poverty line. 42% of children under five years of age are underweight. Most of the poor in India live in villages. Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal have the poorest areas. High level of illiteracy, lack of healthcare facilities, and limited access to resources are some of the basic problems in poor areas.
Pollution and environmental issues are the other challenges that India is facing at present. Though India is working hard, there is a long way to go. Degradation of land, depleting natural resources, and loss of biodiversity are the main issues of concern due to pollution. Untreated sewerage is the major cause of water pollution. The Yamuna river is today one of the most polluted rivers in India. Same is the condition of other rivers that pass through populated cities.
Both men and women enjoy equal opportunities, but as far as freedom and safety of women is concerned, India lags behind. Issues like domestic violence, rape cases, portrayal of women in media, etc., must be tackled immediately.
India needs to work swiftly on its infrastructure towards better roads, and services like water, sanitation, etc.
Quite a long list! Which problem would you like to add to the list?