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Everybody Loves a Good Drought | P. Sainath


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The human face of poverty. The poor in India are, too often, reduced to statistics. In the dry language of development reports and economic projections, the true misery of the 312 million who live below the poverty line, or the 26 million displaced by various projects, or the 13 million who suffer from tuberculosis gets overlooked. In this thoroughly researched study of the poorest of the poor, we get to see how they manage, what sustains them, and the efforts, often ludicrous, to do something for them. The people who figure in this book typify the lives and aspirations of a large section of Indian society, and their stories present us with the true face of development.


Everybody Loves a Good Drought is a book, by P. Sainath, about his research findings of poverty in the rural districts of India. The book won him the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

Sainath wrote the book by combining 84 articles that he had written from 1990 to 1992 for the Times of India, while residing in the poorest villages in the interiors of India, especially Tamil Nadu, what today is referred to as Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and what is today referred to as Chhattisgarh on a two year Bennett and Coleman fellowship. The articles give extensive detail of how various government projects do and do not work at the ground level, and whether they actually deliver any of their promised results in reality. He wrote the stories by detailing out the projects as well as the lives of villagers living in these places, supplementing them with detailed statistics.

Divided into separate sections based on the issues that the chapters deal with, the book scathingly unveils how trickle up and down theories do not work in reality in the country, and the stunningly high levels of corruption in so called development projects.

The book is considered one of the most detailed, authentic, highly regarded and readable studies of modern India.


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