India urban boom is increasingly marginalising the growing number of urban poor even as its lifting millions out of poverty, a government report said on Tuesday.
The `India: Urban Poverty Report 2009', released by minister of state for housing and urban poverty alleviation, Kumari Selja, gives an insight on the nature and extent of urban poverty in India.
The report, a first of its kind, has been prepared by eminent academicians and practitioners under the coordination and supervision of Amitabh Kundu, professor, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and has been supported by the GoI-UNDP project, National Strategy for Urban Poor.
Among others, the report covers issues of basic services to urban poor, migration, urban economy and livelihoods, micro fiancÚ for urban poor, education and health, unorganised sector and livelihoods.
The report is divided into three sections covering areas such as urban economy and the poor, MDGS, social infrastructure and finance, cities, land and basic services, and livelihoods and the urban poor.
The proportion of India's urban poor halved in the 30 years to 2005 but absolute numbers rose from 60 to 81 million during the period, according to the report.
"When you're watching the process of development, where you stand is very important - whether you see the speed of the engine or you get overwhelmed by the smoke," professor Amitabh Kundu, the chief coordinator of the report said.
The urban poor accounted for 25.7 per cent of the country's total urban population in 2004-5, compared with 49.01 per cent in 1973-74, said the report which defines urban poor as anyone living on less than Rs20 ($0.41) a day.
However, the rate of overall decline in poverty slowed from 0.82 percentage points per year from 1973-74 to 1983-84, to 0.61 percentage points from 1993-94 to 2004-05, the report said.
India's economy grew at around 9 per cent in each of the past three years.
"The process of urbanisation in India have created a backwash effect for the poorer sections of the urban community," the report said.
The report blames it on the decline or relocation of traditional industries such as textiles and steel.
"The urban workers are increasingly being pushed into the informal sector," the report said.
The report said such exclusion is pushing a large number of urban workers such as street vendors and rickshaw pullers further into poverty.
Mass slum clearances have also driven workers away from their place of work and pushed many into crime, the report added.