Working Papers

Poverty of Circumstances and Poverty of Opportunity

Anirudh Krishna and Sujeet Kumar

Centre For Policy Research

January 12, 2023

Ordinary people in rural Bihar and in Patna and Delhi have virtually no opportunity to be tested for a hidden talent, be it for athletics or singing or chess or mathematics or art. Not one of more than 800 young people we interviewed has ever competed at the national, state or district level in any of eight activities of different kinds. Alternative careers pass them by. Future champions can remain unidentified and unrewarded. Something better is necessary to make equality of opportunity less a slogan and more a reality. Examples from across the world show what can be done.