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India needs political will to eradicate poverty: UN official


New Delhi : As 38 million people stood up and took a pledge to fight against poverty as part of a UN campaign, a senior official of the global organisation said India needed a political will to solve the problem.

As part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the UN wants to reduce the number of the poor – defined as people living in less than one dollar a day – by 50 percent before 2015.

“The major problem with India is poverty and hunger. Maternal mortality and infant mortality are the two other major worries of India,” said Minar Pimple, deputy director, Asia Millennium Campaign.

“India is not debt ridden. It has all the resources to fight for the cause. The country needs a strong political will to overcome the problem and achieve the goal,” Pimple said here in New Delhi.

As part of the ‘stand up and speak out’ campaign against poverty, 38 million people raised their voice and pledged to work against the problem.

Nearly 13.77 million people in India have participated in the campaign. The country has 270 million people who live on less than a dollar per day.

Similarly, three million Pakistanis and seven million Philippines citizens also joined the campaign.

The campaign this year achieved a world record and was soon going to be included in the Guinness Book Of World Record for the number of participants. In 2006, the campaign had received the support of nearly 24 million people across the globe.