Karnataka polls: Kannadigas richer than Indian average but poorer than neighbours Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala

By Alison Saldanha

Mumbai: While Karnataka does better than the national average on social justice and empowerment indicators for Dalits and Adivasis, it still lags its southern neighbours Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in terms of poverty, according to this 2018 Karnataka government report.

Over 12.9 million or 21 percent people in Karnataka live below the poverty line, more than Tamil Nadu's 11.3 percent (8.2 million), Andhra Pradesh's 9.2 percent (7.8 million) or Kerala's seven percent (2.3 million). Adivasis and Dalits comprise nearly a third of the poor.

Dalits, or scheduled castes (SCs) as they are constitutionally called, comprise 16.9 percent of the state's population, and Adivasis, or scheduled tribes (STs), comprise 6.8 percent.

About 28.4 percent of Karnataka's Dalits live in urban areas and comprise more than a quarter of state's slum population (28 percent), the report showed. Among Adivasis, less than a fifth or 19.2 percent live in urban areas.

The Karnataka Vision Document 2025, as the report is called, is a strategy for governance for the next seven years up to 2025, focused on 13 sectors, including social justice and empowerment, agriculture, energy, health and nutrition, urban development, employment and skilling. Comparative data for Telangana were not available in the report.

Nearly half the population of India or 48 percent live in multi-dimensional poverty, which, apart from monetary indicators, includes overlapping deprivations at the household level related to health, education and living standards, the report said.

While Karnataka reported a relatively lower multidimensional poverty rate of 40.7 percent, the state is home to the highest percentage of "multi-dimensional poor" (40.7 percent) in south India. Kerala, with a rate of 10.1 percent, recorded the lowest multidimensional poverty nationwide.

"Karnataka state achieved sustained economic growth in the recent past, however, inequality in economic, social and health and health care utilization is widening among various social groups," the report observed. Here are some of the other findings on social justice and empowerment:

The author is an assistant editor with IndiaSpend.

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Updated Date: May 11, 2018 17:59:45 IST