Looking Beyond Food, Clothing and Shelter in South Asia

There is nothing more basic in terms of human necessities than the adequate availability of roti, kapra aur makaan. Going beyond these bare essentials of food, clothing and housing, one can add sanitation, health care and education. Let's examine how the two biggest nations in South Asia are coping with such fundamental necessities of their population:

1. Food:

Food is the most basic necessity of all. In terms of being better fed, Pakistanis consume significantly more dairy products, sugar, wheat, meat, eggs and poultry on a per capita basis than Indians, according to FAO data. Average Pakistani gets about 50% of daily calories from non-food-grain sources versus 33% for average Indians.

There is widespread hunger and malnutrition in all parts of India. India ranks 66th on the 2008 Global Hunger Index of 88 countries while Pakistan is slightly better at 61 and Bangladesh slightly worse at 70. The first India State Hunger Index (Ishi) report in 2008 found that Madhya Pradesh had the most severe level of hunger in India, comparable to Chad and Ethiopia. Four states — Punjab, Kerala, Haryana and Assam — fell in the 'serious' category. "Affluent" Gujarat, 13th on the Indian list is below Haiti, ranked 69. The authors said India's poor performance was primarily due to its relatively high levels of child malnutrition and under-nourishment resulting from calorie deficient diets.

Last year, Indian Planning Commission member Syeda Hameed acknowledged that India is worse than Bangladesh and Pakistan when it comes to nourishment and is showing little improvement.

Speaking at a conference on "Malnutrition an emergency: what it costs the nation", she said even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during interactions with the Planning Commission has described malnourishment as the "blackest mark".

"I should not compare. But countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are better," she said. The conference was organized last year by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Ministry of Development of Northeastern Region.

According to India's Family Health Survey, almost 46 percent of children under the age of three are undernourished - an improvement of just one percent in the last seven years. This is only a shade better than Sub-Saharan Africa where about 35 percent of children are malnourished.

India has recently been described as a "nutritional weakling" by a British report.

2. Clothing:

According to Werner International, Pakistan's per capita consumption of textile fibers is about 4 Kg versus 2.8 Kg for India. Global average is 6.8 Kg and the industrialized countries' average consumption is 17 Kg per person per per year.

3. Shelter:

There is widespread homelessness in India, with a population 7 times larger than Pakistan's, with the urgent need for 72 million housing units. Pakistan, too, has a housing crisis and needs about 7 million additional housing units, according to the data presented at the World Bank Regional Conference on Housing last year.

4. Sanitation:

India might be an emerging economic power, but it is way behind Pakistan, Bangladesh and even Afghanistan in providing basic sanitation facilities, a key reason behind the death of 2.1 million children under five in the country.

Lizette Burgers, chief of water and environment sanitation of the Unicef, recently said India is making progress in providing sanitation but it lags behind most of the other countries in South Asia. A former Indian minister Mr Raghuvansh Prasad Singh told the BBC that more than 65% of India's rural population defecated in the open, along roadsides, railway tracks and fields, generating huge amounts of excrement every day.

As an example, let's compare India's largest slum Dharavi with Pakistan's Orangi Town. The fact is that Orangi is nothing like Dharavi in terms of the quality of its housing or the services available to its residents. While Dharavi has only one toilet per 1440 residents and most of its residents use Mahim Creek, a local river, for urination and defecation, Orangi has an elaborate sanitation system built by its citizens. Under Orangi Pilot Project's guidance, between 1981 and 1993 Orangi residents installed sewers serving 72,070 of 94,122 houses. To achieve this, community members spent more than US$2 million of their own money, and OPP invested about US$150,000 in research and extension of new technologies. Orangi pilot project has been admired widely for its work with urban poor.

5. Healthcare:

A basic indicator of healthcare is access to physicians. There are 80 doctors per 100,000 population in Pakistan versus 60 in India, according to the World Health Organization. For comparison with the developed world, the US and Europe have over 250 physicians per 100,000 people. UNDP recently reported that life expectancy at birth in Pakistan is 66.2 years versus India's 63.4 years.

6. Education:

India's literacy rate of 61% is well ahead of Pakistan's 50% rate. In higher education, six Indian universities have made the list of the top 400 universities published by Times Higher Education Supplement this year. Only one Pakistani university was considered worthy of such honor.

Pakistan has consistently scored lower on the HDI sub-index on education than its overall HDI index. It is obvious from the UNDP report and other sources that Pakistan's dismal record in enrolling and educating its young people, particularly girls, stands in the way of any significant positive development in the nation. The recent announcement of a new education policy that calls for more than doubling the education spending from about 3% to 7% of GDP is a step in the right direction. However, money alone will not solve the deep-seated problems of poor access to education, rampant corruption and the ghost schools that only exist on paper, that have simply lined the pockets of corrupt politicians and officials. Any additional money allocated must be part of a broader push for transparent and effective delivery of useful education to save the people from the curses of poverty, ignorance and extremism which are seriously hurting the nation.

In spite of deficiency in education, how is it that Pakistanis can maintain better standards of living in terms of food, clothing, shelter, sanitation and healthcare than their neighbor India? The first answer is that, according to the 2009 UN Human and Income Poverty Report, the people living under $1.2 a day in India is 41.6 percent, about twice as much as Pakistan's 22.6 percent. The second answer can be found in the fact that Pakistanis' real per capita incomes are actually higher than reported by various agencies. The most recent real per capita income data was calculated and reported by Asian Development Bank based on a detailed study of a list of around 800 household and nonhousehold products in 2005 and early 2006 to compare real purchasing power for ADB's trans-national income comparison program (ICP). The ICP concluded that Pakistan had the highest per capita income at HK$ 13,528 among the largest nations in South Asia. It reported India’s per capita as HK $12,090.


Conclusion:

Clearly, the status of an average Indian is not only worse than an average Pakistani's, the abject deprivation in India is comparable to the nations in sub-Saharan Africa. However, Pakistanis do need to worry about their woefully inadequate state of education and literacy. They must find a way to develop the skills, grow the economy and create opportunities for their growing young population. As Pakistan's former finance minister Salman Shah recently told the wall Street Journal, "Pakistan has to be part of globalization or you end up with Talibanization. Until we put these (Pakistan's) young people into industrialization and services, and off-farm work, they will drift into this negative extremism; there is nothing worse than not having a job." Unless Pakistanis heed Shah's advice, there is real danger that Pakistan will slip into total chaos and violence, endangering the entire nation in the foreseeable future.

To summarize, this post has discussed six different indicators of life in any nation: Availability of food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, health care and education. The published data that I have shared with you shows that PAKISTAN IS AHEAD OF INDIA IN FIVE OF THE SIX INDICATORS. In education, however, Pakistan is marginally behind India, which itself suffers from low levels of literacy and wide gender gap resulting in very poor showing on the UNDP HDI this year, and in prior years. In fact, India dropped six places on the world rankings from a low of 128 to an even lower 134. Unfortunately, Pakistan has also slipped three ranks on the list, down from 138 to 141, mainly due to its deficit in literacy and gender discrimination.

Poverty:

Population living under $1.25 a day - India: 41.6% Pakistan: 22.6% Source: UNDP

Underweight Children Under Five (in percent) Pakistan 38% India 46% Source: UNICEF

Life expectancy at birth (years), 2007 India: 63.4 Pakistan: 66.2 Source: HDR2009

Education:

Youth (15–24 years) literacy rate, 2000 to 2007, male Pakistan: 80% India 87% Source: UNICEF

Youth (15–24 years) literacy rate, 2000 to 2007, female Pakistan 60% India 77% Source: UNICEF

Economics:

GDP per capita (US$), 2008 Pak:$1000-1022 India $1017-1100

Child Protection:

Child marriage under 15-years ; 1998–2007*, total Pakistan - 32% India - 47% Source: UNICEF

Under-5 mortality rate per 1000 live births (2007), Value Pakistan - 90 India 72 Source: UNICEF

Related Links:

Syeda Hamida of Indian Planning Commission Says India Worse Than Pakistan and Bangladesh

Global Hunger Index Report 2009

Grinding Poverty in Resurgent India

Food, Clothing and Shelter For All

India's Family Health Survey

Hunger and Undernutrition Blog

Pakistan's Total Sanitation Campaign

Is India a Nutritional Weakling?

Asian Gains in World's Top Universities

South Asia Slipping in Human Development

What Does Democracy Deliver in Pakistan

Do South Asian Slums Offer Hope?

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
This information is not relevant to the post, but for those of you who are sincerely seeking data on Pakistan's IT industry, here is a snapshot:

The State Bank of Pakistan in its statement for the year According to Pakistan Software Export Board, State Bank of Pakistan for 2007-08 reports the export figures of software and IT-enabled services to be US$169 million which shows a consistent annual growth. State Bank of Pakistan adopted BPM 5 reporting system to report the IT exports revenue, which restricted the export figures to US$169 million only in 2007-08. In India, the Reserve Bank of India follows the BPM 6 (also called MSITS) Reporting System, which raises its exports to billions of US dollars. BPM 6 includes sales to multinationals, earning of overseas offices & salaries of non-immigrant overseas workers to export revenue. Using the MSITS Reporting System, Pakistan IT Industry exports are estimated at US$ 1.4billion while the industry size is estimated at US$ 2.8 billion. It is significant to note that Pakistan IT exports growth in each of the last few years has been more than 40%.


Source: http://www.pseb.org.pk/item/industry_overview
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a BBC report about a female Maoist fighter in India:

The guerrilla fighter was tough, experienced, leading a platoon of around 60 insurgents.

"I am from a very poor family," the fighter told me.

"Life was very difficult. I joined the party and now I understand many more things. I think revolution is the only option."

One thing you should know about this hardline Maoist rebel - she is a young woman.

She is one of the growing numbers of poor Indians who have joined a four-decades-old Maoist rebellion, in which thousands have died. Last month the rebels killed 76 members of the security forces in a single attack.

More than 20 of India's 28 states are affected by the insurgency. The remote tribal villages of Jharkhand state, where the fields are still tilled by oxen, are at the centre of it.

The area is home to some of the country's poorest people, mostly members of indigenous tribes. There is little sign of India's economic miracle here.

Local people feel the government has neglected them. So the Maoists, or "the party" as the villagers call them, have got on with running the place.

Parallel government

"The government here has no health programmes… so our party sets up health clinics to help the people," one Maoist fighter told me.

"This area is plagued by illness... Our party gives free medicines in the clinics - and we get help from doctors and nurses. We run them in the rainy season when people are suffering most."

The Maoists have drawn a lot of support from poor villagers like Chachi.

"They are like our sons, our brothers," she says.

"Before, we were not allowed to go into our forests - the authorities used to cut the trees but we weren't even allowed to gather firewood. Now we can.

"The party makes sure there is no tension between rich and poor… that's why we want the party here."

But not everyone agrees. The Maoists have blown up schools because the security forces use them as barracks.
Riaz Haq said…
"As the green revolution tapered off, a poultry revolution began; in the late 1970s. Ever since, Pakistan has been gnawing away at broiler chicken and there’s no turning back", wrote Punjab's director general of board of investments in a recent Op Ed in Dawn.

In 2011/12 K&N’s expects to produce 80 million layer and broiler chicks, reports thepoultrysite.com.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, obtaining safe, reliable sources of poultry feed was an insurmountable challenge in Pakistan. This led Khalil to set up his own feed mill to produce feed for K&N’s operations at Karachi in 1971. With the growing need of feed for the integrated production operations in Central Punjab province and Northern areas of the country, a feed mill established by a multi-national company at Lahore, was acquired by K&N’s to take advantage of low-cost feed ingredients available in the Central part of Pakistan.

The growth of commercial poultry production through the decades changed the mindset of consumers towards farm raised broilers and eggs, helped by lower prices and greater availability. Today, Desi chicken and eggs are produced in lower volumes and considered more of a delicacy.

Yet the strength of the live/wet chicken market culture, the negligible overheads of roadside sales – a butcher’s knife costs less than US$1 – and the reassurance of Halal slaughter remain significant influences slowing the uptake of processing, says Adil Sattar.

Practical problems, particularly the limited availability of cool chain facilities and frequent power breakdowns, have to be overcome with production and distribution of processed products inevitably involving high overheads.

"Earlier, within our industry, poultry processing was considered a non-viable poultry business activity as many firms had tried but ended up closing down their operations," says Adil. "At K&N’s, we endeavoured to develop the market, and other companies are now looking to start processing operations."

Today, chicken is the most popular protein source in Pakistan, primarily through the industry’s growth and success leading to lower cost and widespread availability, with per-capita consumption about 7kg (15.4lb) per year. The tradition is to eat chicken at home, always skinless cooked in curries, with rice or barbecued.

Restaurants offer local cuisine including a variety of curries, barbecue dishes and different types of rice, with a number of upmarket cafes and restaurants serving western cuisine and many of the international fast food caterers such as McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Nando’s, Hardees and Subway also present.
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a News report on meat consumption in Pakistan:

The consumption of poultry meat increased by 239 percent in 11 years from 322 million tons in 1999/2000 to 767 million tons in 2010/11, but it is still only 0.7 percent of the global poultry production, experts said on Monday.

At a seminar organised by Big Bird to commemorate its 20 years association with the global poultry giant Hubbard pioneer of poultry in Pakistan Dr Yaqoob Bhatti in his paper revealed that the value of poultry infrastructure exceeds Rs300 billion and annual turnover of commercial poultry is Rs40 billion.

With 105 hatcheries, the annual broiler chick production is 820 million, he said, adding that the commercial egg production is 8.690 billion per annum in addition to 3.742 million production of rural eggs.

Pakistan Poultry Association former chairman Abdul Basit said that poultry is the cheapest source of animal protein not only in Pakistan, but the world over. The average daily animal protein consumption in Pakistan is only 17 grams per capita, while the average minimum requirement is 27 grams, he said.

There is a dire need to increase poultry production in the country that has largely grown without helpful government policies or facilitation, said Basit. The industry, for instance, has since long been demanding the government to disallow poultry farm clusters through a law as chicken farms at least 1.5km apart greatly reduce the risk of spread of diseases among various poultry flocks, he said.

He said his concern has to relocate its very large chicken farms each time when place was surrounded with many other farms too close to his farms. He said he has shifted his major high quality grand parent farms to Thar deserts. Dr Mustafa Kamal said that the consumption of mutton has declined rapidly, while that of beef and poultry has increased.

The share of poultry meat increased from 16.4 percent to 24.3 percent, he said, adding that the consumption of mutton declined from 0.649 million tons to 0.616 million tons, showing a fall of 20 percent in total meat consumption share.

Still, he said, Pakistan as a meat eating country produces around 50 percent broiler chickens of those produced in India, which has seven times human population and has a good chance to develop Grand Parent breeding operations, which has an existing capacity of producing eight million parent stocks for domestic as well as for export purposes.

Olvier Behaghel of Hubbard France said that Pakistani poultry improved efficiencies rapidly during the last 20 year that has helped it control the cost. Maturing time of a broiler has reduced during this period from four days to 46 days and from 38 days to 40 days, he said.

The weight gain of the chick at the time of maturity has increased from 1.5-1.7kg to 1.9 to 2kg and feed consumption by the time of maturity has declined from 2.2-2.5kg to 1.7-1.9kg. “Pakistan, he said, is gradually reaching global and Hubbard standards in chicken health, morality and efficiency in productive processes.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=70726&Cat=3
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a report on fiber consumption for clothing around the world:

World fiber consumption has been steadily trending up over several decades. Per capita consumption was about 3.7 kg in 1950 and climbed to 10.4 kg in 2008. Given the nature of the final products of fibers, clothing and textiles, fiber consumption is sensitive to the global economic situation.
----------
Final products of fibers can be grouped into three major categories: clothing, textiles for home, and textiles for industrial uses. These final products respond differently to changes in income and prices, depending on whether they are consumed as necessary goods, luxury goods, or durable goods. Therefore, world total fiber consumption is exposed to the influence of global economic developments. Encompassing a 4.2 percent annual average growth of the world GDP from 2000-2007, per-capita world fiber consumption increased by nearly 35 percent, from 8.3 kg in 2000 to 11.1 kg in 2007.

However, the economic stagnation in developed countries in 2008 resulted in a reduced rate of GDP growth for the world (3 percent), and a 6.4 percent contraction in per-capita world fiber consumption, to 10.4 kg.

Furthermore, two important developments came about in 2008:
• First, per-capita fiber consumption in developed countries experienced a fall in excess of 8 percent, but developing countries witnessed a decline of less than 5 percent. Some developing countries--such as Ecuador, Indonesia, Paraguay, Pakistan and Vietnam--even saw their per-capita consumption increase slightly in 2008.
• Second, world cotton consumption dropped sharply, over 7 percent, but man-made fibers production declined by less than 5 percent.

Preliminary analysis suggests that world fiber consumption experienced a significant rebound from its 2008 decline. In 2009, man-made fiber production increased by 3.6 percent, reversing the loss of 2008, while natural fiber production continued to decline, although at a slower pace. As a result, world fiber consumption may have gone up slightly in 2009 compared with the previous year.

Developing countries led growth in consumption
Developed countries had been the major driver of growth in world fiber consumption over the past few decades. Over the most recent decade, however, per-capita consumption of fibers in developing countries increased at a much more rapid pace. Compared with 2004, per capita consumption of fibers in developing countries in 2007 increased by about 20 percent, but only by 8 percent in developed countries. By regions, far Eastern countries registered the highest growth, about 27 percent, largely due to China (Mainland), where per capita consumption of fibers increased by 50 percent between 2004 and 2007.

The increase in fiber consumption in developing countries has been largely met by man-made fibers. While total per capita fiber consumption increased by 20 percent, consumption of man-made fibers went up by 28 percent during 2004–2007. As a result, the share of man-made fibers in total fiber consumption in developing countries climbed from 56 percent in 2000 to 65 percent in 2008. The per-capita consumption of manmade fibers in developing countries increased from 2.8 kilograms in 2000 to 4.9 kilograms in 2008. In 2008, total cotton consumption in developed countries accounted for about 50 percent of world consumption with a per capita consumption of 9.5 kilograms, which was nearly 4 times the 2.4 kilograms consumed in developing countries.
----------......


http://www.cotton247.com/supplychain/textiles/?storyid=2106
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Reuters' blog post on lack of hygiene in India:

My Indian friends and I joke around a lot about me as the typical white American guy visiting India. Cows! Con men! Colors! Most people I’ve met in India have restricted their reactions to my westerner-in-the-east experiences to gentle teasing. When I stuck a picture of a man urinating in public on my Facebook page, calling it one more picture of what you see everywhere you go in India, people weren’t as patient. What was I doing? Insulting the nation? Focusing on the ugly because it’s what all the westerners do when they visit India? Why does India provoke such visceral reactions in visitors?

Public urination, public defecation, dirt, garbage, filth, the poor living on the street — talking about these things, even acknowledging that they’re in front of your face, risks making your hosts unhappy, and possibly angry. It’s the third rail of India, and the voltage can be lethal. That’s why I was surprised when B.S. Raghavan decided to touch it with all 10 fingers.

Raghavan’s column in The Hindu Business Line newspaper begins with this headline: Are Indians by nature unhygienic?

Consider these excerpts:

From time to time, in their unguarded moments, highly placed persons in advanced industrial countries have burst out against Indians for being filthy and dirty in their ways of life. A majority of visitors to India from those countries complain of “Delhi belly” within a few hours of arrival, and some fall seriously ill.

There is no point in getting infuriated or defensive about this. The general lack of cleanliness and hygiene hits the eye wherever one goes in India — hotels, hospitals, households, work places, railway trains, airplanes and, yes, temples. Indians think nothing of spitting whenever they like and wherever they choose, and living in surroundings which they themselves make unliveable by their dirty habits. …

Open defecation has become so rooted in India that even when toilet facilities are provided, the spaces round temple complexes, temple tanks, beaches, parks, pavements, and indeed, any open area are covered with faecal matter. …

Even as Indians, we are forced to recoil with horror at the infinite tolerance of fellow Indians to pile-ups of garbage, overflowing sewage, open drains and generally foul-smelling environs.

There’s plenty more that you can read in that story, but I’ll direct you to the article. I’ll also ask you some questions:

Some people say you shouldn’t point out these problems, and that every country has problems. Do you agree with this statement? Why?
Does anyone disagree with Raghavan’s descriptions of these sights and smells?
Is this even a problem? Or should people get used to it?
Should visitors, especially ones from countries where people are generally wealthier, say nothing, and pretend that they don’t see unpleasant things?
As for me, I can say this: I got used to it, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t notice it. Indians notice it too. Otherwise, people wouldn’t suggest public shaming campaigns against people urinating in public, they wouldn’t threaten fines for doing it, and they wouldn’t respond with relief to plans to finally make sure that toilets on India’s trains don’t open directly onto the tracks. Of course, these are people in India. It’s a family, taking care of business the family way.

As for me, the message usually seems to be: “If you don’t love it, leave it.” It would be nice if there were some other answer. Acknowledging problems, even ones that are almost impossible to solve, makes them easier to confront.


http://blogs.reuters.com/india/2012/11/17/indians-inherently-unhygienic-indian-writer-touches-third-rail/

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