COVID-19 pandemic drove 230 million people in India into poverty

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About 230 million Indians fell into poverty due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year with young people and women the hardest hit, and the current second wave threatens to make matters even worse, a new study has said.
India’s stringent months-long lockdown from last March put about 100 million people out of work, the report by the Bangalore-based Azim Premji University said, with about 15 per cent unable to find jobs even by the end of the year.
Women were especially worse-off, with a staggering 47 per cent of female workers unable to secure employment even after virus restrictions were lifted, according to the study published on Wednesday.
The report, which defined people in poverty as those living on less than 375 rupees (US$5) per day, said: “Though incomes fell across the board, the pandemic has taken a far heavier toll on poorer households.”
Asia’s third-largest economy was in the throes of a prolonged slowdown even before COVID-19 struck, but the pandemic untraveled years of gains.
An estimated 50 million Indian citizens were expected to climb out of poverty last year, instead the poorest 20 per cent of households saw their entire income vanish in April and May as business ground to a halt.

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