Real Issues


The Election results are going to be out soon and we’ll have our Government for the next five years. So here, with all due respect, I would like to welcome the new Government with this article with a list of real issues that need to be paid attention to.

As India is the world’s largest democracy, this coming Government will be considered as the choice of the people of this Nation, which means that this Government is entrusted with some responsibilities. One of them would be looking into the ‘real’ issues and figuring out how to eradicate them.
Some of the real issues that need to be the focus on are listed below. They are:
1. Poverty:
According to the World Bank Report 2016, 1 out of 5 Indians is poor.
India according to reports of 2018, does not come in the list of extreme poor countries anymore. Now, India is just a poor country, not an extremely poor country.
The only irony here is, with people running away with huge amounts of money like ₹9000crs and ₹11,000crs, and the 2019 Indian elections being the costliest elections costing approx  50,000 crs. It would not be easy to call India a poor country .
Someone rightly said, “India is not a poor country. India is a rich country of poor people.”
2. Unemployment:
According to the reports of India Today (2018), 18.6 million Indians are without jobs. The figure is to increase in 2019 to 18.9 million. The recent report of World Bank (probably 2018) stated that India was red-flagged by the World Bank. The institution had asked India to create 8.1 million jobs a year to match up to the employment rate of the country.
Since we are talking about unemployment, it is necessary to talk about the population as well. According to the World Population review (2019), the population of India in 2019 is more than 130 crore. The India Demographics Profile 2018 by Index Mundi shows that 43.6% of the population comes under youth dependency ratio.
According to The Guardian (2018), approximately 600 million, ie. 50% of the population is under 25. (No other country has such a massive percentage of youth.)
3. Women related issues like Equality and Safety:
When it comes to talking about the safety of Women, somewhere we are lagging behind. The cases of Nirbhaya in Delhi, Asifa in Kathua and one more in Unnao had India in tears.
According to a report published by The Wire, there are several cases where a woman suffers. In cases of cruelty by husband or relative- 32.6%, assault to outrage her modesty- 25%, kidnapping, and abduction- 19%, followed by rapes- 11.5%.
According to a report by The Quint (2018), in 2016, India recorded 106 rapes a day and 4 out of every 10 victims were minors. The report of 2016 showed a total of 38,947 cases registered in the country under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POSCO) as well as Section 376 and other related sections of the Indian Penal Code.
While calling our Nation Mother India, the question arises, exactly how safe are our mothers, daughters, and sisters in India?
By the time you look for an answer to that, here is one more fact.
The 33% Women’s’ Reservation Bill was passed in 2010, it is still pending in the Lok Sabha.
4. Manual Scavenging:
The Preamble of Indian Constitution talks about Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.
Coming to the point, the animals or birds that consume the dead organisms are called Scavengers. Manual Scavenging, on the other hand, is a term used mainly in India for the manual removal of human excreta from bucket toilets or pit latrines by hand with buckets and shovels. (Wikipedia)
Hence, the people engaged in manual scavenging are known as Manual Scavengers.
*Why does manual scavenging still exist?
The 2013 Act speaks of employment of people for manual scavenging, but only if they are provided with proper gear and that too in emergency situations.
According to The Guardian (2018), 11 people died while cleaning sewers or septic tanks.
Two months ahead of the 2019 Elections, the sewer cleaning machines were introduced. There was no further progress on it though (only in Delhi).
Last year, according to the Newslaundry, 300 deaths occurred throughout the country due to manual scavenging.
According to a report of Indian Express (September 18, 2018), since 2017, one person has died every five days, on an average, while cleaning sewers and septic tanks across the country. (Data by National Commission for Safai Karamcharis)
Now here are some facts.
-More Indians are cleaning sewers than fighting for Nation or actively participating in democracy.
-Swachch Bharat did not deal/ eradicate CASTE-based manual scavenging.
-Even today, people from minority (lower castes) are summoned and asked to clean the septic tanks or sewers.
Now question that arises here is, if people can only go into sewers and septic tanks when they have proper gears and equipments, why are there so many deaths taking place? And if so, who shall take the responsibility? The people whose excreta is being cleaned or somebody else?
These are some of the ‘not so focused’ ‘real’ issues.
These are not even 1% of the problems. There are so many more.
The moment we start debating or discussing on these topics, someone points out that issues cannot be solved and that the vicious cycles of Population, Poverty and Unemployment shall continue.
Why not start taking tiny steps?
PS: I have tried to attach as many links as possible. You can check them out for references. There might be slight differences in the numbers and things keep changing every second in India.
-Prathiusha Podiuval