India's Salvation May Lie With Poor
Rural growth picking up slack as industrial sector cools
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2009 8:58 AM CDT
Infrastructure spending has helped bring development to India's poorer states, helping their economy expands as growth slows elsewhere.   (Flickr)
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(Newser) – The new, high-tech India enjoyed a long boom, but the nation's path out of the global slowdown may lie with the legions of poor in old, rural India, the Wall Street Journal reports. The 700 million people who live in India's hinterland are still among the poorest people on the planet, but living standards are slowly rising, helping pick up the slack as urban growth slows.

A new generation of leaders—whose policies will be judged in this month's election—have followed through on promises to help lower-caste Indians through infrastructure spending. A sign of the times, the Journal notes, is villagers' rejection of a rat-farming initiative aimed at helping the poor in the state of Bihar. "We want to learn to use a computer mouse, not catch mice," demonstrators shouted in the capital.