Friday, October 30, 2009
TRAVEL THE WORLD - NEAR MAHESHWAR, MADHYA PRADESH, INDIA
This young girl, photographed from the train in India in 2007, would likely be typical of many rural children raised in poverty in that country. The 2001 census reported a rural population of 740 million out of a total population of 1.17 billion. Although fertilizers and irrigation have improved the productivity of the soil, most of India's rural population remain poor, and many are deeply in debt to the extent that suicide is a major problem. Because the debt passes from father to son, their situation appears hopeless. Experts estimated, for example, that there were approximately 17,500 farmer suicides each year between 2002 and 2006. Recently, the government has initiated a program of debt relief for farmers. Though it will no doubt help, it is unlikely to solve such a huge problem.