Relative poverty exists in India. But how much? I doubt if it is more than another 10% on top of the 5% absolute poverty. I am poor than my boss who is poor than Vijay Mallya who is poor than Anil Aggarwal who is poor than Bill Gates and my employee is poor than me and his maid is poor than him. But all of these people are not the relative poor we want to help or bring out of poverty. We are talking of people whom you look at or talk to or whose house you visit and you don’t have to use any parameter or get into a debate in any way as to whether they are poor or not. Those people for whom no one will question that they are poor, irrespective of what parameter or methodology you use.
Take a sample of 1,000 people in every metro, sub-metro, city, town and village and then do a subjective market research and analysis of this sort and you will realize that overall poverty levels in India are no more than 15% i.e. 18 crore Indians. Yes, it is still a very large number of poor people but what we need to pat our backs for, is that we brought out most of India from poverty in last couple decades and trickle down affect did work. Now, we have to set our sights on helping these 18 crore Indian to come out of poverty and bring down our poverty levels to around 8% by 2020, below which we will never get, as that’s what law of nature is.