The development of India in recent years, especially in the economic sector, has been remarkable. However, not everybody benefits equally. Despite the improvements in many sectors, as well as a significant reduction of the poverty rate, more than 20% of the total population still live below the poverty line. This results in very poor Water Sanitation & Hygiene, food and nutrition security indicators.
There are huge regional differences between the states, and between the rural and urban areas. Most of the people living in poverty are from scheduled castes (SC) or scheduled tribes (ST). Climate change, an increased risk of natural disasters, as well as population growth will challenge theefforts of further improving the country’s development in the future.
Natural resources such as land, forest and water, which are especially relevant for the poor and rural communities, are overstretched and at risk in many regions of India due to climate change, high population densities and ongoing population growth. These trends will be further intensified in the future through the continuously fastgrowing economy, with rapid industrialisation and urbanisation accompanied by increasing demand for energy resources.
Climate change in India is evident through changing weather conditions, which lead to an increased risk of natural hazards as, for example, extreme rainfall patterns, floods, heatwaves or droughts. Furthermore, the consequences of climate change, such as rising sea levels, sea water intrusion, decreasing ground water levels or melting of glaciers are already visible and are most likely to increase. All of these factors are likely to lead to more migration and more complex and dynamic migration patterns.
The current geographical focus is on the north-eastern states of Bihar and Jharkhand. They have the lowest development indicators in the country and are especially prone to trafficking and migration. There is also a focus on Delhi, the vibrant and dynamic capital of India with an extreme population density.