Coronavirus: How Will Poverty Destroy India In The Future?

Now that the Indian Government has forced to put their 1.3 billion people into lockdown, this has created many issues as 60% of the workforce in India are actually wage workers. Keeping them inside has brought up many controversies from those working people about putting food on the table, losing their job, and a safe place for shelter. Read more to learn about the millions of jobs that these people lost so far as a result of this coronavirus outbreak.

What Happened In The Month of April?

A study found that 1.2 million people in India have lost their job in the month of April alone. The curfew began at the end of March and the full effects of closing the country began to reveal in the month of April. Most of these workers that have been affected are wage workers. I have spoken before about the hardships that the wage workers are facing just in the state of Tamil Nadu in Coronavirus: What You Need to Know About the Struggle of Tamil Wagers. Today, I will go more in detail about the effects in the country as a whole along with skyrocketing unemployment rates.

What’s Hardships Have These Workers Faced So Far?

In a country with such a high population density, the labor workforce is very important in order to function the country properly. Now that the country is closed, there seems to be no purpose for these wagers at the moment.

Line Graph On India's 2020 Unemployment Rate From Statista

The main fear of these wagers seems to be more worried of dying of starvation rather than dying from the coronavirus itself. Now that the country has extended their lockdown for the 5th time (Lockdown 5.0), these wagers are losing hope in the Indian Government and are seeing no possibilities of returning back to normal in the near future. The Indian Government has previously gave out about ₹1000 to the working people along with free ration (with some restrictions). With current India’s standards, this little money made no use to these people which puts in a very difficult situation with no one to help them.

How Will Poverty Rates Be Affected In The Future?

Many industries have shut down at this point which has put many people’s livelihoods on the poverty line. If the lockdown continues for a very long time, statistics have revealed that the lives of these people will be guided towards poverty. The World Bank has stated that about 490 million people (1/2 billion people) in the world will be on the poverty line when the world reaches the end of this coronavirus lockdown. Out of this 490 million, about 120 million of them will be from India. We can infer from this data that India will be in grave danger if they don’t find a find something for workers.

 The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, which analyzed unemployment statistics from 5,800 households in 27 states in India, indicated that rural unemployment rates are likely to be higher. There is no way to recover the economy or to improve job growth during this crisis. The reason that the World Bank has stated is that about 10.4 million Indians under the middle class already earn less than ₹240 per day. Looking at the picture below, India has went into this health crisis at a very bad standard.

Data On India's Poverty Rates From 1977-2020 by Macrotrends

According to university’s research, this would raise the poverty rate of India from 60 percent to 68 percent. Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised during his election campaign in 2014 that he would end poverty in India. However, with the current condition of the curfew, many workers are unable to stand up on their two feet due to lack of food and a place for shelter.

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