Factoid Blog #1
[If you’re interested, here’s the first of our Factoid Blogs. No photos, but some interesting bits and pieces that might strike some of your fancies. If not…skip to the next blog “Delhi Old and New” with photos and briefer “travelogue”].
We start the new day touring old and new Delhi. Traffic, traffic, traffic. Arvind, our tour guide has plenty of time to give us some Indian background:
There are 1.2 billion Indians; 1/6th of the world’s population. There are 14 official languages and seven major religions. In fact, the Jain festival is tomorrow (Thursday).
60% of the population is in villages and small towns.
Agriculture is the major economy and is totally monsoon dependent. Because of global warming, the monsoons are coming later and later; now the rains don’t start until September rather than July. This is driving a shift of the population toward the cities (to find work…that doesn’t really exist).
40% of the population is below the poverty line, but here is no social security system. 400 million people are not sure where even one meal a day will come from. Plus the population is growing the equivalent of the population of Australia every year.
40% of the population is illiterate, and use gestures to get around language communication because there are so many dialects.
There is no health insurance so people can use the public hospitals. But, there is often a 2-3 month wait to be helped. One can also use private hospitals on a pay as you go basis. Only the wealthy can do that. We saw a few public and private hospitals on our way. Huge crowds outside the public hospitals while the privates are spanking clean and fresh, with no lines.
It is the same with schools; public and private.
[More to come]….