Ending poverty in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar is crucial to meet World Bank’s goal of eliminating extreme poverty from the world by 2030, said Onno Ruhl, country director of World Bank, Tuesday.
“India has the most number of absolute poor, which is more than all the poor of Africa combined. UP and Bihar have the most poor (in India). WB’s goal of ending poverty cannot be achieved if the number of poor in UP and Bihar remains same,” Ruhl said, while addressing a gathering in Lucknow University.
He also said India needs to be like Sachin Tendulkar when it comes to competitiveness.
“All Indians believe that India should be the best country in world cricket... but I have never heard that India should be the most competitive country in the world. It is not seen as an objective of national pride to be competitive,” he said.
“I’m a big fan of Sachin Tendulkar and he is really great...but he is actually a pretty mediocre fielder. But that didn’t stop him from becoming the greatest cricketer. India needs to be like that: it doesn’t need to be perfect, it needs to be more like Sachin, really does,” Ruhl said.
Earlier in the day, Ruhl held meetings with the government officials, including Chief Secretary, to review the status of ongoing and future projects.
Ruhl also said WB is working on additional financing of UP Sodic Lands Reclamation Project, “which will focus on reclaiming ravine land” and is also “starting preparations for pro-poor tourism project (in UP), which is about creating more jobs for poor people out of tourism.”