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Scrutiny
  
2.8 bn still poor; 20% illiterate
The world is better today than 20 years ago; but not for all
02/09/2010

Issues such as poverty, sanitation, illiteracy and health care don’t just plague developing or underdeveloped countries but also hold equal significance in the developed world. There is hardly any place in the world that is free of such social shortcomings. These words are extensively and effectively used on political platforms and in global summits. But lip service and the shorter end of the stick are all that the poor get all the time. This is despite the fact that non-government bodies and social watch organizations are working day in and day out across the globe to address these issues.

Going by present data available, as of 2010, there are still 2.8 billion people living on less than $2 a day. There had been many global policies designed to counter and address this problem in particular. One of the measures (under Millennium Development Goals aka MDG) taken by UN and like institution aimed to fight poverty and contain its growth through education initiatives. In the last one decade, illiteracy has seen a noteworthy fall. If the worldwide literacy rate was 73% in 1990 then today it is around 80% - a considerable achievement. But then, most of the development and upliftment has taken place in developed countries. The same trend can be seen with respect to access to health. As of 2010, around 2 billion people worldwide still do not have access to primary care or clinics. Contrast this with the WHO report in 2002, which reveals that 2.6 billion people lacked access to improved sanitation, which represented 42% of the world’s population.

Illiteracy, poverty and related issues are some of the key reasons many sections of the society have a higher probability of turning over to undertaking illegal activities simply for survival. That, along with the fact that humanity has an irrefutable moral obligation towards helping the disadvantaged sections, necessitates that much more is done than the current efforts.

By:- Sray Agarwal
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