SC, STs face higher risk of poverty due to caste : Washington report

Washington, Sept. 13 (PTI): With poverty increasing in South Asia, an astounding 400 million people in India continued to live below the poverty level, a World Bank report has said.

However, South Asia which accounted for 43.5 per cent of the world's poor population in 1998, has also improved its gross primary enrolment from 77 per cent to more than 100 per cent in 1982-96, said the Bank's annual world development report.

The Bank found that Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes face a higher risk of poverty compared to other sections of the population in the region.

``These (SCs and STs) are among the structural poor who not only lack economic resources but whose poverty is strongly linked to social identity, as determined mainly by caste,'' it said, adding that they also have worse social indicators.

Among rural Scheduled Caste women in India, the literacy rate was 19 per cent in 1991--half that for the country, and among Schedule Caste men, 46 per cent, compared with 64 per cent for the country.

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