I spent the entire year of 1993 backpacking through India.
Talk about culture shock – my senses were constantly under assault.
Beautiful women in vibrant saris…Pungent aromas of spice and incense…Bollywood music blaring from rooftops…
But what really stood out was the abject poverty.
For a week or so I stayed at a friend’s high-rise apartment in Bombay (which is now called Mumbai).
The morning after arriving, I awoke to discover that an encampment of about 50 families had sprouted up overnight across the street.
This, my host told me, happened all over the country every single day.
As you might imagine, I also encountered countless beggars during my time in India.
Of course, not everyone in India is poor.
In fact, the country now boasts 119 billionaires – that’s 110 more than there were in 2000.
And according to Oxfam, the country produces 70 new millionaires every day.
So it’s no surprise that the disparity between rich and poor in India is astounding (the top 10% of the country’s population accounts for 77% of its total wealth).