Nearly half of all Indians get by on less than $2US/day.
No car. No car insurance. No health insurance. No home insurance. Very little spent on clothes, entertainment, or discretionary spending. Just food, basically. And water – drinking water must be purchased here. Even factoring out all the expenses we have in the US that they don’t here, I don’t think I could.
I couldn’t even do it here. Every day we go to lunch at the food court in my husband’s office complex. The cheapest meal is about $1.30. I asked our driver if he ever ate there and he said that it was too expensive. He could get lunch for half that down the road. So, eating Indian food off the street is still costing him nearly $.75, and that’s just one meal for one person.
I also talked with my house helper about this. There are ten people living in her house right now (three wage earners). Between a monthly purchase of rice, dahl (lentils), flour and oil, and daily purchases of vegetables, spices, and meat or chicken, they spend about $275 a month on food.
The average wage earner in India only brings home $3/day, and chances are, if you’re making that little, you both work. So, tell me – what would you feed your family if you only had $6/day?
Source. I found a lot of conflicting data on this, and of course the economic and class differences are huge here, so an average doesn’t really mean much. I know the prices (as quoted above) and wages are higher here in Bangalore than in rural India.