Welfare and poverty
The good economic growth since the early 1990s has improved living conditions for many millions of Indians, especially in the cities. The proportion of people living in poverty has decreased and many poor people now have at least some opportunities to improve their situation. Officially, the proportion of poor has fallen from 51% in 1990 to 37% in 2011. However, between 250 and 400 million Indians still live in poverty. The number differs depending on the definition used for poverty. Generally speaking, those who do not have sufficient access to the basic rights are food, housing, education and health care. Particularly vulnerable are low-caste, tribal groups and people with disabilities. In many respects, women and children are also at risk.
The middle class has grown significantly, the richest has become even richer and the differences between the richest and the poorest have increased. There are also great differences between the states. By far the highest welfare is found in the southwestern state of Kerala and in the metropolitan area of Delhi. Poverty is not as common in southern India as it is in the north, and poverty and malnutrition are more pronounced in rural and rural areas than in larger cities. Social conditions are permeated by differences between caste, between religious categories and between ethnic groups.
One of the most serious problems is malnutrition, especially among children. In 2010, 42% of children under five years were malnourished. Many have very low living standards. The comprehensive population and housing bill in 2011 showed, among other things, that 39% of households did not have kitchens indoors and 53% lacked sanitary sewer. However, access to clean water has increased significantly over the past decade. In the cities, it is especially the immigrants from the countryside who find it difficult to find income and security. They are referred to housing in slums and excluded people are not often forced to sleep on the sidewalks.
In the Global Welfare Ranking (HDI) 2011, India ranked 134th among 187 countries, roughly the same ranking as ten years earlier.
Family life and equality
The average number of children per family has almost halved in recent decades and in five of the federal states the average is two children, much like in Sweden. The decrease is mainly due to the fact that girls are increasingly receiving education and that there is more information and easier access to contraception. But in areas where this is still uncommon, the siblings are considerably larger, as in poor states in the north.
Women and men now have the same political and legal rights, but cultural factors and religious norms that are rooted back in history mean that most women cannot or do not want to exploit many of their opportunities. The man has traditionally the dominant position and this is still obvious to most people in India. In recent decades, many laws have been put in place to protect and help women, but compliance with them is poor.
Since 1978, the age limit for marriage has been 18 years for women and 21 years for men. In 2010, almost 45% of all girls were estimated to be married before the age of 18. Most people consider that an adult unmarried woman has no role in society. The family is the norm, and women must already have a real man in their teens who gives them protection and security. A law from 2006 prohibits trafficking in women at home, but such violence is not uncommon. It is usually considered a private matter and is therefore ignored by the authorities. Women are generally more difficult to get their case tried in court, because they have a weaker economy and a weaker political and social position. Outside of society, rape and other crimes against women have become more common. See also Justice.
Domestic dowry (English dowry), ie Capital and goods that the bride’s family provides to the groom’s family were formerly a form of support for the young woman. In recent years, instead, in many areas it has become a demanding capital transfer between households and is about very large sums. Giving and receiving a dowry is criminal, but the custom lives on, and the consequences can be devastating for many families’ finances. Above all, it means that the vision lives on that girl children entail large costs.
UN agencies and other organizations working with international statistics highlight that many data show that Indian girls and women are still living a vulnerable life and have low status. In the total population, there are many millions fewer women than there should be, given how many men there are. Of all newborns, girls make up a smaller proportion than in other countries, and the discrepancy increases every decade. An important explanation is the good access to fetal diagnosis and the resulting gender-related abortions. Abortion is legal for social and economic reasons, but gender-selective abortion is criminal.
Furthermore, mortality before the age of five is significantly higher among girls, which is not found in other parts of the world. Malnutrition is more common among little girls than among boys, which is also a reflection of men’s obvious higher status. Boys breastfeed longer, receive better food, more care and better health care. This tradition lives on, as it is the son’s responsibility to take care of his aging parents and to pass on the lineage. Girls are given away and thus disappear from their childhood family.
Conditions have changed significantly with regard to girls’ schooling and also somewhat regarding women’s labor market. The differences between girls ‘and boys’ literacy have diminished sharply and they are now equally enrolled in elementary school. But it is common for girls to quit prematurely; when they are 10-14 years of age, many hours of daily housework usually await.
About a third of women work for pay. In most cases, the wife’s salary work is of great importance for the family’s survival, but it is still common for gainful employment not to be considered desirable. Women work primarily in the informal sector, primarily as employees in households, and many trade in the markets. Only a tenth of the workforce in industry and service industries are women. Women’s pay is generally one third of men’s pay for equal work.
Only in 2005 came the addition to the inheritance laws, which states that daughters have the same inheritance rights as sons after the parents. However, the law covers only about 80% of the entire population, since it does not include Christians, Muslims and tribal people with their own customary rights. Gaining access to land through inheritance is very important for rural women, but many of them still dare not claim their right, for social reasons.
Since 1992, there is a national law that requires that a third of the seats in political bodies be reserved for women. After fifteen years it had been realized in many places in the village boards (panchayats), but higher up in the decision levels women are less common. At national level, 6% of ministers and 11% of parliamentarians were women in 2012.
Labor market and social insurance
More than 90% of employment is in non-organized sectors where people have very little social protection. These groups include the vast majority of farm workers, small farmers and employees in small companies, the periodically unemployed and the underemployed, and many millions of household employees. They lack protection in unforeseen events, even though their efforts are estimated to account for more than 60% of the country’s GDP.
Within the formal, organized sector there are 7-9% of the workforce. These are covered by social insurance, with compensation for illness, work injury and maternity, as well as with pension and survivor’s insurance. At companies with more than ten employees, employer contributions are paid to employees’ pensions, and there are also guaranteed minimum wages.
Of all the Indian labor market, 5-10% are unionized. Most of these work at large companies in the cities and especially in southern India.
The trade union movement is very fragmented locally, partly by religious residence (Hindus/Muslims) and partly by party political dominance. Religious and ethnic affiliation is more important than class issues. In addition, throwing belongings. There are therefore numerous unions in a larger workplace. However, there are also more geographically comprehensive and independent unions, notably the AIPFT teacher union and the rapidly growing SEWA, which only includes women in the informal sector. At the central union level, there is no funding for larger and more long-term initiatives, but general strikes are not uncommon. The world’s largest general strike to date was carried out in the winter of 2012, when about one hundred million Indians demanded job security and higher minimum wages.
The regulation of minimum wages is very complex in India. Nationally, an overall level is set, and then the states are free to decide for themselves. The levels therefore vary between different parts of the country.
According to national law, a normal working week covers a maximum of 48 hours for six days. Overtime work is very common and for low-paid people it may be necessary to work up to twelve hours a day to cope with family survival. The hourly wage should be twice as high for overtime work, but it is not uncommon for it to be difficult to get such compensation. The working time regulation does not apply to many millions of employees, especially not to farm workers and household employees.
The Constitution prohibits forced labor, but such occurs, for example, when a person must work from a debt to a lender / employer. For many household employees, the conditions are so difficult that you can talk about forced labor. Furthermore, children may be forced to work for the family to pay off debts. There is a ban on children under the age of 14 working and if this happens, the employer must be sentenced. In the mid-1990s, the UN agency estimated that just over 11 million Indian children aged 5-14 worked, primarily in agriculture and in the carpet, shoe and silk industries.
Labor market legislation is thus in a number of important respects, but compliance must also be checked. It is very common for the resources of the state and the states not to do so. In addition, bribery and other corruption are common. In the informal sector, a lot of work is done in the homes, and it can then be almost impossible to check compliance with the legislation. The Constitution also prohibits discrimination in working life based on caste membership. But the opportunities to choose a profession are largely controlled by the individual’s social background, and people born in lower castes work mainly in low-paid professions.
Healthcare and health insurance
Health care has not developed at the same pace as the economy. In the state’s total budget, the health sector represents only about 1% of GDP. Calculated per capita, it will be very small in comparison with other countries. For example, the density of doctors (6 doctors/10,000 residents) and access to nurses and midwives (10/10,000 residents) and nurses are, for example, less than half as large as in China. Only a quarter of the healthcare is state-run, while three-quarters are run privately, and the state encourages increased private investment.
Millennium Development Goalto significantly reduce mortality in various diseases by 2015 will probably be achieved in the case of malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/ AIDS. Compared to other developing countries, a large proportion of children have received vaccination protection. However, you are far from the goal of reducing maternal mortality (during pregnancy, childbirth and the six weeks immediately thereafter). It is (2012) just over 200 per 10,000 births, which is very much an international comparison. Infant mortality is also high. In 2010, HIV/ AIDS occurred among 3 ㏑ of the population between 15 and 49 years. With the rising standard of living, lifestyle diseases are increasing, mainly in the upper and middle class of cities. At the same time, mortality is still very high in some infectious diseases, especially among the rural poor. The press is increasing on the healthcare system,
Healthcare resources are very unevenly distributed across the country. Access is consistently better in southern India than in the north. It is reflected in the infant mortality rate, which in the state of Kerala in the south is as low as 12 ㏑ while it is 59 ㏑ in the state of Madhya Pradesh and 46 ㏑ in the country as a whole. Even greater are the differences in health care between major cities and rural areas. In the countryside, about 70% of the population lives, but only two 2% of the country’s doctors worked there around 2010. There, people rely on folk medicine, acupuncture and the like. More than 80% of all costs paid for healthcare are patients’ own resources, and most are paid in cash at the time of care. In 2011, it was estimated that less than 15% of the population was covered by health insurance, but as the standard of living rises, more and more people obtain their own health insurance.