Why Urban Poverty Is More Desperate in India and More All-Consuming in China

This Brave New World: India, China and the United States

Manuel on India LEAD

The first thing that struck me was that the streets were spotless, polished clean with the swing of hundreds of broom strokes a day. Women squatted in front of their corrugated iron homes, wearing ragged sweaters and hats to ward off the January Delhi chill. They chatted while they ripped the feathers off scrawny, recently butchered chickens. Preschool age children played with sticks in the dirt, and one three-year-old girl in a dusty pink hoodie with bunny ears confidently grabbed my hand.

The waste-picker slum community I visited in east …

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