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Poverty is a social stigma that needs to be eradicated. An outlook of the poverty in India and corrective action taken by the government

Poverty in India

Poverty in India: Current Situation
Poverty is one of the main issues, attracting the attention of sociologists and economists. It indicates a condition in which a person fails to maintain a living standard adequate for a comfortable lifestyle.

Though India boasts of a high economic growth, it is shameful that there is still large scale poverty in India. Poverty in India can be defined as a situation when a certain section of people are unable to fulfill their basic needs. India has the world's largest number of poor people living in a single country. Out of its total population of more than 1 billion, 350 to 400 million people are living below the poverty line. Nearly 75% of the poor people are in rural areas, most of them are daily wagers, landless laborers and self employed house holders. There are a number of reasons for poverty in India. Poverty in India can be classified into two categories namely rural poverty and urban poverty.

Reasons for Rural Poverty

Some of the basic reasons of rural poverty in India are:
  • Unequal distribution of income.
  • High population growth.
  • Illiteracy.
  • Large families.
  • Caste system.
Problems Of Rural Poverty
  • Presence of malnutrition, illiteracy, diseases and long term health problems.
  • Unhygienic living conditions, lack of proper housing, high infant mortality rate, injustice to women and social ill-treatment of certain sections of society.
Steps Taken by Government to Reduce Rural Poverty
The government of India has been trying its best to remove poverty. Some of the measures which the government has taken to remove rural poverty are:
  • Small farmer’s development Programme.
  • Drought area development Programme.
  • Minimum needs Programme.
  • National rural employment Programme.
  • Assurance on employment.
  • Causes for Urban Poverty.
Causes for Urban Poverty

The causes of urban poverty in India are:
  • Improper training
  • Slow job growth.
  • Failure of PDS system
Problems Of Urban Poverty
  • Restricted access to employment opportunities and income.
  • Lack of proper housing facilities
  • Unhygienic environments
  • No social security schemes
  • Lack of opportunity to quality health and educational services.
The steps taken by government to remove urban poverty are:
  • Nehru Rozgar Yojna.
  • Prime Minister Rozgar Yojna.
  • Urban Basic services for the poor Programme.
  • National social Assistance Programme.
But these processes can be helpful only if the policies go to those people for whom it is meant. The clash between the central government and the state government often results in the lack of implementation of these policies. So it is very important that the governments do not play power politics when it comes to a serious issue such as poverty.

Year All India % Rural % Urban%
1973 54.9 56.4 49.0
1978 51.3 53.1 45.2
1983 44.5 45.7 40.8
1988 38.9 39.1 38.2
1994 36.0 37.3 32.4
1999 26.1 27.1 23.6

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