De la pobreza al empoderamiento

MUMBAI – A un mes de la próxima elección general, India tiene motivos para celebrar: por fin la pobreza extrema está en retirada. En 2012 (dos décadas después de que el gobierno lanzó una serie de reformas con el objetivo de abrir la economía) el índice oficial de pobreza llegó a 22%, menos de la mitad que en 1994. Pero ya es hora de que India aspire a más. Salir de la indigencia es un hito importante, pero no es lo mismo que obtener un nivel de vida decente y una sensación de seguridad económica, algo para lo cual todavía falta hacer mucho.

De hecho, la magnitud de la tarea aparece reflejada en un nuevo informe del McKinsey Global Institute, “De la pobreza al empoderamiento”, en el que se usó un innovador marco analítico basado en el concepto de “línea de empoderamiento” para estimar el costo que supone al ciudadano medio satisfacer ocho necesidades básicas: alimento, energía, vivienda, agua potable, saneamiento, atención de la salud, educación y seguridad social. Según este indicador, en 2012 el 56% de los indios “carecían de medios para satisfacer necesidades esenciales”.

Es interesante notar que esta cifra es más de 2,5 veces superior a la cantidad de personas que aún viven por debajo de la línea de pobreza en India. Todavía más sorprendente es constatar que la “brecha de empoderamiento” (es decir, el consumo adicional necesario para llevar a esos 680 millones de personas a la línea de empoderamiento) es siete veces mayor que el costo de eliminar la pobreza extrema.

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