“India has attempted positively to be self-reliant and the world community has acknowledged its initiatives. Although the country has attained success in the economic sector in the recent past it needs to handle a few issues urgently,” Hosabale said and added, “After nine days of Navratri, the way Maa Durga slays the demons on the occasion of Vijaydashmi, the country also needs to get rid of demon like challenges it has been facing for decades and one of them is poverty, which must be eliminated urgently. We must win over this challenge.”
The senior RSS functionary was speaking at a webinar organised by the RSS-affiliated Swadesh Jagaran Manch (SJM) under its ongoing “Swawalambi Bharat Abhiyan”, which is an attempt to inculcate entrepreneurial skills amongst the youth.
The webinar was organised on the occasion of the birth anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri.
Hosabale said that as per some data 20 crore people are still below the poverty line, which is quite disappointing. “As many as 23 crore people have less than Rs 375 income per day. The Labour Force survey published in June indicated that there are four crore unemployed in the country and the unemployment rate is 7.6%,” the RSS functionary said.
He said that situation has improved in the past few years as compared to 22 % of poverty in the country 10 years ago, it is 18 % now. “In 2020, the per capita income was Rs 1.35 lakh per annum, which has improved to Rs 1.5 lakh in 2022,” he said.
However, he said, that the issues of unemployment and poverty persisting for decades are intriguing and another major issue that the country ought to pay attention to was the prevalence of economic inequality.
“It is good that the country has been ranked as the sixth largest economy in the world. But the top one per cent of India’s population has one-fifth (20%) of the nation’s income. At the same time, 50% of the country’s population has only 13% of the country’s income. We must think about this economic inequality,” Hosabale said.
Referring to observations made by the United Nations on the state of poverty and development in India, Hosabale said, “The UN report in the context of India says that a large part of the country still does not have access to clean water and nutritious food. Poverty is also a reason for the tension in society and poor level of education.”
He said that the government has implemented the new education policy and it should be expected that it will yield the desired results.
“The flawed policies of decades resulted in migrations on a large scale from villages to cities. While villages were emptied, life in cities became like hell. The current government has taken several initiatives to make paradigm changes. However, the way challenges persist, there is a need to to take initiatives to create more awareness and consciousness,” Hosabale said.
He said that the “Self Reliant India” campaign launched under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi was a true tribute to leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri.