According to a report filed by the Arjun Sengupta Committee, which was formed to study the working and living conditions of workers in the unorganised sector, about 836 million people (77% of India’s population) subsist on Rs 20 a day each (about 26 UK pence) or less.And the National Sample Survey Organisation’s report on Household Consumer Expenditure in India, 2006-07, reports that the average Indian spends just Rs 440 or less in a month on food. In 1991, when the liberalisation process began, India was ranked 123rd in the UN’s Human Development Index. Today, it proudly occupies the 128th place.However India media is not interested in reporting things like this. Instead they are after news items like the one given below.
Mukesh Ambani ready to move into mansion in the sky
Mukesh Ambani's 27-floor Antilia on Altamount Road took seven years to build.
MUMBAI: Antilia, the luxe 27-storey home of India's richest person Mukesh Ambani in south Mumbai, is ready for housewarming during the ongoing festive season. The building, which stands taller than most buildings in the vicinity and is visible from a distance in every direction, bears the name of a legendary island in the Atlantic Ocean.
Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, India's largest private sector company, whose personal wealth is estimated to be $27 billion, is set to move into his mansion by the end of the month. The palatial building, completed after seven years of labour, has three helipads on the top floor and has been billed as the most opulent home of an individual anywhere in the world. The Ambani scion has invited the who's who of the country for a sneak preview and celebrations on October 28.
Ambani's multi-million-dollar customized skyscraper in Altamount Road would have Kumar Mangalam Birla, scion of the Birla family, as one of his neighbours.
The glass tower that stands 570 feet tall features a swimming pool, a health club, a salon and a mini-theatre. The first six levels comprise the garage where more than 160 cars can be parked. Atop the parking lot is Antilia's lobby, which has nine elevators.
The lobby leads to numerous lounges, powder rooms and a ballroom. The top floors, with a sweeping view of the city, are where the 53-year old business magnate, his wife Nita and children Akash, Anant and Isha will reside. Nita, who has been managing the affairs at Dhirubhai Ambani International School and the Mumbai Indians IPL team, has been involved in every detail and aspect of the mansion, roping in international architecture firms Hirsch Bedner Associates and Perkins Will. No two rooms in the building look the same.
"I have seen several houses, including that of Lakshmi Mittal (owner of Arcelor Mittal). But Antilia is marvellous. I remember the house having a Picasso painting, it was one of its kind," said the chairman of a diversified telecom-to-retail business. The ballroom, according to him, was just stunning. He confirmed that he has an invitation to visit the new Ambani home on the 28th. For some others, it has become a talking point.
Currently, the elder Ambani brother shares the address with his estranged brother Anil Ambani, who manages Reliance AnilDhirubhaiGroup of companies, at Sea Wind in South Mumbai's posh Cuffe Parade. Incidentally, the elder brother bought the plot on Altamount Road soon after the spat between the brothers became public. The two have patched up recently.