Improving quality of life - social and environmental improvements

Quality of life refers to the wellbeing of individuals or groups of people. Instead of measuring the amount of money that people have, it refers to where people live and whether they are healthy and happy. The quality of life for some Indian people has improved dramatically over the last 30 years.

Social improvements in India

The structure of the population in India is changing. Health and hygiene improvements have meant that life expectancy has increased from 38 to 68 years within a generation.

The increase in older people has meant that the population is less youthful. This is good as there are fewer dependents and more people of working age. The nature of the workforce is also changing, with India seeing a growing middle class.

Environmental improvements in India

The quality of the environment has a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of residents. The National Green Tribunal is an environmental court that was set up in India in 2010. It deals with issues of environmental protection and conservation and it can make companies and individuals pay compensation under the 'polluter pays' principle. India is the third country to have this type of system (Australia and New Zealand have similar systems).

The National Green Tribunal is helping to clean up India's cities. An example of this is the emergence of e-waste recycling, where old computers and electronic equipment is broken down and re-used. Also, in cities like Mumbai, a new Metro system, a ban on diesel cars and regular checks on factory waste are improving the quality of the environment for the people living there.

A photo showing how e-waste is sorted and sold on a street in Kolkata
E-waste is sorted and sold on a street in Kolkata
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