…of life

Lagging far behind

The mainly rural way of living in the Indian federal state of Andhra Pradesh has very little in common with life in Central Europe. About 80 million people populate an area, which is slightly larger than the former Federal Republic of Germany. Circa 500 people are cramped on one square kilometre around the large rivers Godavari and Krishna (Germany: ca. 230/km²). The climate is tropical – in the flatter parts of the region, the temperature rare falls below 20° Celsius. The air is almost always stuffy.

Almost three quarters of the population of the federal state live in rural areas. And almost two thirds live off a less than well-functioning agriculture. Only 60 of 100 residents can read and write (Germany: 99 of 100). The annual Gross Domestic Product in the federal state is about half of what the 1.8 million strong population of the City of Hamburg generates.

Many people live in make shift accommodations made from wood, twigs, mud, palm branches or plastic sheeting. Every year, large areas in the region are destroyed during the monsoon months between June and December and thousands of people lose their homes. The streets away from the few and narrow motorways are in awful condition. Only part of the urban population has water and electricity and far fewer people can enjoy these basic necessities in rural areas.

About 89 percent of the residents in Andhra Pradesh are Hindus, 9 percent are Muslims; Christians only represent a very small minority. They mainly reach the Dalits (Untouchables), who are strongly ostracised by the Hindi society and the Adivasi (natives).