59 years of being a republic.
Where is India right now?
Population of 1.1 billion (2006)
Infant mortality rate has dropped from 60 per 1000 (2003) to 35 per 1000 (2007)
Gross National Income of $906.5 billion (2006)
GDP growth was 9.4% in 2007
Software exports totalled $28 billion
BPO exports exceeded $8 billion
Cellular market surged to 160 million subscribers
And then there is the other side ...
350-400 million people in India live under the poverty line, about 75% of them in rural areas
More than 40% of the population is illiterate
India is No.115 of 157 in the 2008 Index of Economic freedom (can that be good?)
Malnutrition affects more than half of all rural children, even as obesity is starting to threaten their more affluent peers
Second highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS (5.1 million)
Unemployment rate is at 7.8% (2006)
External debt of $132 billion (2006)
Less than 93 women exist for every 100 men in the population
Some interesting reads (I don't agree with all the opinions in the op-eds, but they make for thought-provoking reading nevertheless):
- How to defend India
- Our Unlucky Children
- Female infanticide
- World Bank profile of India
- UNICEF in India
- Are our children really learning?
A little depressing? I guess. But change takes time. And the process of change is often hard. Plus, we probably won't see the full impact of it in our lifetime. But I'd like to believe in a vision or two :)
You must be the change you want to see in the world.
- Mahatma Gandhi
The good news is that I do have a tricolour submission for Pooja (sorry it is late!), and it tasted *good* - can't quite go wrong with fruits!
A simple fruit kebab with mandarin oranges, apples and kiwis made for my tiranga - and a pomegranate-yogurt dip served as a good creamy foil for the fruits.
Happy Republic Day!