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Report: 1 in 3 poor Indians pay bribes

  • Story Highlights
  • One-third of Indian families below poverty line pay bribes for basic services
  • Poor in India paid $210M in bribes last year, Transparency International says
  • Bribes were paid to police, schools, hospitals and power companies
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NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- One out of every three families living below the poverty level in India paid a bribe last year for basic public services, like admitting a family member into a hospital, according to a new report.

The report by Transparency International India and the Center for Media Studies said poor people in India paid about $210 million (9,000 million rupees) in bribes last year to the police, schools, hospitals and power companies.

The bribes were for basic services, the report said: to file a police report, to enroll a child in school, to admit a family member into a hospital or to get electricity turned on.

"This kind of corruption that denies people their entitlement to basic and need based services, many of which may be 'free' by law, results in the poor finding themselves at the losing end of the corruption chain," said R. H. Tahiliani of Transparency International India in a statement.

As in many South Asian countries, corruption is well-entrenched in India, analysts say. A quarter of the country's 1.1 billion people live below the poverty line, according to the CIA's World Fact Book.

Transparency is a non-profit working toward improving ethical practices in government.

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