What is Extreme Poverty?

Nearly 256 million people in India are living on less than $1.90 per day. 

The lives of the extremely poor are marked by instability and deprivation of basic needs such as:

  • adequate food
  • safe drinking water
  • stable shelter
  • sanitation and electricity
  • education
  • health care

Those in extreme poverty often turn to irregular income activities such as shoe-shining, begging, day labor, hawking of second-hand items, and trash picking. Because income is so unreliable, the poor find themselves in a vicious circle where their unmet basic needs make it impossible to maintain a regular income stream.


A Hand Up, Not A Handout

Many poverty relief organizations provide handouts (free food, housing and healthcare) under the assumption that the extreme poor need to be rehabilitated before they can start earning a living.

However, the Upaya team has demonstrated that people in extreme poverty can become self‐reliant and quickly address their own needs simply by having access to a stable job and steady income.   

They need a hand up, not a handout.

Create A Job - Change A Life

Individuals employed by Upaya's partner entrepreneurs are working themselves out of extreme poverty.