As the world’s second most populous nation, India’s fast growing economy is often seen as an example for other developing countries to follow. Yet this country of 1.2 billion people still has at least 440 million people living in poverty, with 240 million Indians described as chronically hungry. Crushing poverty and malnutrition, and limited or nonexistent health care remain harsh realities for millions of Indians.
Other pressing issues facing the country include: insufficient educational opportunities for the region’s poor, environmental degradation and pollution, an impending public health crisis with the epidemic rise of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, and India’s increasing vulnerability to natural disasters, especially earthquakes, seasonal monsoons, droughts, cyclones and landslides.
Muslims make up approximately thirteen percent of India’s population and remain amongst the poorest community in the country. They have not fared well within the traditional Indian caste system, which marginalizes them religiously, socially and economically by limiting their access to quality education and employment.
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