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Poverty Reduction in India 

Stories | October 15, 2021

Poverty Reduction in India 

In 2020, global extreme poverty increased for this first time in 20 years. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on progress made towards reducing global poverty, pushing a further 88 to 115 million people into extreme poverty, a figure which is expected to reach 150 million by the end of 2021.

The rise in global poverty is extremely concerning given that disability and poverty go hand in hand. Breaking the cycle is key to both protecting the rights of people with disabilities and lifting people out of poverty.

On the 17th of October, CBM Australia will celebrate the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and continue raising awareness about the need to end global poverty.

For the past six years, CBM Australia have been supporting a Community Based Inclusive Development program in India that focuses on improving the economic situation for over 4000 participants.

A recent report drawing on evaluations carried out in 2015 and 2020 showed that the project is having a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities, and their families.

By 2020, 85% of people with disabilities felt their economic situation had improved as a result of the project.

This has enabled them to better meet the needs of themselves and their family in regard to food, nutrition and health – although we do acknowledge that Covid-19 has had a negative impact in India in the last year.

The project is also changing the way people with disabilities perceived their own situation and the way family and community members view disability.

By 2020, 90% of people with disabilities were being included in family decisions & 80% were participating in community level discussions.

It has led to greater disability inclusion within families and the community, and supported household improvements.

Graph showing the number of households with a toilet at home. 29% in 2015, 56% in 2018 and 92% in 2020

As the project has progressed, more people with disabilities were able to access government schemes and benefits. By 2020, almost all people with disabilities had a disability certificate and a large number were accessing the disability pension.

Graph showing the percentage of people with a disability certificate. $0% in 2015 and 98% in 2020

Many also received assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, hearings aids and rehabilitation services. For people like Snehlata – a women living with a disability that makes it hard for her to walk- receiving an assistive device, such as a tricycle, can not only increase mobility, but can build confidence, independence and improve their economic potential.


 “During the programme implementation I received a tricycle… Now I have started commuting independently and am able to do most of my work… Our income has improved drastically. I thank CBM for every bit of change it brought to my life. Today, I happily proclaim that I lead a stable and independent life,” says Snehlata.


CBM acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).  

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