Ground Report | New Delhi: Poverty level among SC ST; The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (GMPI) report states that five out of six people living in multidimensional poverty in India are from disadvantaged tribes and castes. ST (50.6%) had the highest poverty level, followed by SC (33.3%) and OBC (27.2%).
In the first report titled “Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (GMPI), 2021”, published by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative and United Nations Development Programme, five out of six multidimensional poor people in India are from lower tribes or castes.
“In India, five out of six multidimensionally poor people are from lower tribes or castes. The Scheduled Tribe group accounts for 9.4 percent of the population and is the poorest with 65 million of the 129 million people living in multidimensional poverty. They account for about one-sixth of all people living in multidimensional poverty in India,” it said.
The Scheduled Tribes group is followed by the Scheduled Castes group with 33.3 percent – 94 million out of 283 million people – living in multidimensional poverty.
The GMPI, 2021 notes that five out of six people living in multidimensional poverty in India are from disadvantaged tribes and castes. The poverty level was highest among ST (50.6%), followed by SC (33.3%), and OBC (27.2%). In contrast, the poverty level (besides SC, ST, and OBC among others) was the lowest at 15.6 percent. That is, the poverty level in STs was three times higher than that of other advantaged communities, while the poverty level of SCs and OBCs was almost twice their level.
The report further noted that 27.2 percent of the Other Backward Classes group – 160 million out of 588 million people – live in multidimensional poverty, “showing a lower incidence but similar intensity than the Scheduled Caste group.”
Of the 1.3 billion multidimensionally poor people studied globally, nearly two-thirds – 836 million – live in households in which no female member has completed at least six years of schooling.
The AIDIS, 2019 report, which collated data on household property or wealth (including land, buildings, livestock, machinery, transport equipment, deposits, shares, etc.), notes that the distribution of wealth among social groups was even odder.
This shows that the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes families were the most disadvantaged in rural areas. Their average wealth of about 9 lakh was just a little over half of the average wealth of16 lakh for each of the rural households. And worse, the average wealth of ST and SC households was only a third of the average wealth of other households, a group that includes all communities other than STs, SCs, and OBCs.
Similarly, OBCs in rural areas had an average household wealth of about ₹16 lakh, similar to the average household wealth of rural households in general, but less than two-thirds of the average household wealth of others.