A nation’s progress depends upon the various welfare measures provided to its countrymen.The largest democratic country in the world, India has to take essential steps for improving thecitizen’s lifestyle. Since independence, our country has made significant strides for improvement in the fields of medicine, industrial production, technology, defense,and science. But one area that seems to be stagnant from growth in poverty.
Today, India is unparalleled in having nuclear plants, production houses,installation of defense equipment and world-class airports. But at the same time, crores of Indiansare not getting one square of meal a day due to diseases and hunger. . It is indeed ironic that the famous line of the novel of Charles Dicken “The Tale of Two Cities” which states that “It was both the worst and best of times” which stands true for the people of the nation. The issue of “Poverty” is a hot topic in the Parliament where various governments have brought many employment programs and welfare schemes to uplift the poor. But they were unable to achieve the positive outcomes. In spite of that, various committees are working tirelessly to eradicate poverty in India.
“The worst form of violence is Poverty”- Mahatma Gandhi.
One can define poverty as a situation where an individual is unable to meet the necessities of shelter, clothes,and food in his/her life. On October 2015, the World Bank published international poverty line figures to Rs.123.5 per day which is based on the price of commodities in 2011-12. In 2015, Asian Development Bank’s data showed that 21.9 percent or 269.7 million people of India’s population is below the poverty line.
Causes of Poverty in India
The primaryreason for poverty is the rising population. The population growth has exceeded the gross result and the economic growth which shows that the poverty figures remain consistent. In villages,a large number of members in each family lead to low per capita income. It is the backbone for India’s economic growth. But poor irrigation infrastructure, outdated farming practices and lack of knowledge for handling the crops has led to the deterioration of this sector. These factors have influenced the farmer’s life challenging to meet their daily needs.
As the economy is changing directions, the structure of the earnings also evolves differently for different classes of people. Assets like cattle, realty,and land are not distributed equally to the deserving population as few people own a significant share. In India, it is a well-known fact that 20% of the population has 80% of the nation’s wealth.
Lack of resources put the low-income families in doldrums and put their children to work rather than sending them to schools. Without proper education, these children are deprived of getting a good job which in turn increases the rate of illiteracy. Due to lack of vocational training centers, a vast labor force becomes unskilled thereby contributing to less economic value. Due to inflation,the price of clothing, real estate,andthe foodis continuously rising. At the same time, the wages and salaries do not match the inflated rates which lead to the decrease in per capita income. Stereotypic social customs like the caste system that is still prevalent today in the society creates a hindrance for certain castes. The untouchables and shudras are looked down upon by the community and due to meager paying jobs; they live their whole life in poverty.
Another debated topic is the gender discrimination where women are seen as the weakest individuals in the society. Family having a girl child led to the woes as she needs to be fed rather than contributing to the family. It might lead to the poverty in the family. Despite setting up various government schemes for the underprivileged sections in the society, the rich people with proper connection acquire more wealth by bribing the government servants. They increase the profits from these schemes which are meant for the benefit of the deprived sections of the society. A significant part of India has a tropical climate annually which is very difficult for hard manual labor. It leads to low productivity,and consequently one doesn’t get proper wages.
Effects of Poverty
One of the worrisome factors is the health of the nation. Less income lead to malnutrition,and ultimately the children suffer from numerous health problems like a weak immune system, low body weight, physical and mental disabilities. Poverty leads to poor sanitary practices as they cannot afford disinfectants and proper bathrooms. Due to unemployment, the weak fall prey to crime for earning quick money and with lack of education,poverty rides society is susceptible to violence. Without having enough money, people spend their lives in stress.
Solutions for Eradicating Poverty
There should be proper implementation of policies and mass awareness for birth control. In this way, the current rate of the population could be controlled. There should be more investments and self-employment schemes to create employment opportunities. The wealth of the country must be evenly distributed among all the classes of the society.
Certain states in our country must be given special concessions on taxes for encouraging investments. There should be an improvement in the public distribution system and the subsidy rates on commodities. Clean drinking water and food items must be readily accessible to every citizen for having a quality life.
Various government schemes like Indira Awas Yojana, UJWALA Yojana, National Food for Work Program, Mid-Day meal Campaignand Swaranjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana should be implemented appropriately for eradicating poverty. Initiatives like Stand-up India, Jan Dhan Yojana, Direct Transfer schemefor the benefits of the village people, Bharat Net, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and SUBHAGA Yojana are some of the vital steps for empowering the rural areas.