Poverty in India


The term poverty is a relative concept. According to the father of economics, Adam Smith – Man is rich or poor under the degree wherein he can afford to enjoy the necessaries, the conveniences and the amusements of human life. Even after more than 70 years of Independence India still has the world’s most significant number of poor individuals in a single country. The poverty level isn’t uniform across India. The poverty level is below ten percent in states like Delhi, Goa, and Punjab whereas it’s almost 50% in Bihar and Orissa. There is two interrelated aspects of poverty – Urban and rural poverty. The leading causes of urban poverty are mainly due to the impoverishment of rural peasants that forces them to move out of villages to look for subsistence living in the towns and cities. When they arrive in the cities, they get access to some food through other sanitary facilities including clean water supply still elude them. Plus they’ve to remain in the habitats that place them under sub-human conditions.

While a few Indians have standards of living comparable to the richest on the planet, many fail to get two meals a day. The causes of rural poverty are many including inadequate and inefficient implementation of anti-poverty programmes. The overdependence on monsoon with nonavailability of irrigational facilities frequently result in crop failure and low agricultural productivity forcing farmers in the debt traps. The rural communities tend to spend a large proportion of annual earnings on social ceremonies that like marriage, feast, etc. Our economic development since Independence has been uneven.There’s been an increase in unemployment creating poverty like situations for many. The population is growing at a shocking rate. The size of the Indian family is relatively bigger averaging at four compared to 3 of China.The other causes include the dominance of caste system that forces the individual to stick to the traditional and hereditary occupations. Since the 70s the Indian government has made poverty reduction a priority in its development planning.


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