BHUBANESWAR: It’s official now. One in every three persons in Odisha is poor. Despite a battery of schemes, welfare programmes and doles by the government, 29.35 per cent (pc) of the State’s population is multi-dimensionally poor.
As per the NITI Aayog’s National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 2021 report, Odisha is among the top-10 states with a significant share of the population living under poverty. Unlike previous years when poverty meant people deprived of food, the NITI report has captured multiple and simultaneous deprivation faced by households. The MPI has been calculated considering three equally weighted dimensions - health, education and standard of living.
The poverty index in almost half of the districts is alarming as the ratio scored by the districts is more than the State average. One in every two persons in Nabarangpur, Malkangiri and Koraput is below poverty line while Rayagada, Kalahandi, Mayurbhanj, Kandhamal and Keonjhar present a similar picture.
The MPI revealed that 59.32 pc people in Nabarangpur, 58.71 pc in Malkangiri, 51.14 pc in Koraput, 48.14 pc in Rayagada, 47.28 pc in Kalahandi, 44.9 pc in Mayurbhanj, 44.75 pc in Kandhamal and 41.78 pc people in mineral-rich Keonjhar are struggling with poverty.
The condition of a significant portion of the population in the coastal districts, considered to be relatively developed and educated, is no better. While 28.43 pc people in Bhadrak are battling poverty, it is 24.42 pc in Balasore, 21.88 pc in Ganjam and 21.67 pc in Kendrapara.
Puri is at the bottom in the list with 11.64 pc people remaining poor, followed by 11.83 pc in Jagatsinghpur, 14.97 pc in Cuttack, 15.49 pc in Khurda and 18.62 pc in Jharsuguda. Other districts with most people living under poverty are Gajapati (38.8 pc), Nuapada (38 pc), Deogarh (37.1 pc), Boudh (33.03 pc), Dhenkanal (30.08 pc), Sonepur (28.05 pc), Balangir (27.49 pc), Bargarh (24.9 pc), Sundargarh (24.75 pc), Sambalpur (24.53 pc), Jajpur (20.75 pc) and Nayagarh (20.49 pc).
30% of Odisha population is poor: Niti Aayog report
Convener of Right to Food, Odisha, Sameet Panda said equitable distribution of resources is utmost necessary to improve the living conditions of the people. It can help in ensuring improvement of indicators like literacy rate, per capita income, food grain production, infant survival rate and industrial production. The State must address regional inequality among the districts with special attention to the districts lagging behind especially the tribal pockets, he added.