What is Poverty?
Poverty is defined as a state or circumstance in which an individual or a group lacks the financial means and necessities for a basic level of living. It can also be defined as a situation in which one’s earnings from work are insufficient to meet fundamental human requirements.
Poverty, according to the World Bank, is a severe lack of well-being that has various aspects. Low earnings and the inability to obtain the essential commodities and services required for a dignified existence are examples.
Poverty also includes poor health and education, a lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation, a lack of physical security, a lack of voice, and a lack of capacity and chance to improve one’s life.
In 2011, 21.9% of India’s population was living below the national poverty threshold.
Important points related to poverty are,
- The two main dimensions of Poverty are Hunger and lack of shelter.
- Poverty is a condition where one is barely having basic necessities of life. when parents are not able to send their children to school or a situation where individuals or families can’t afford medical facilities
- Lack of clean water and sanitation facilities is also one of the conditions of poverty.
- Lack of regular job to earn or live a regular life with basic necessities of life.
Types of Poverty
There are two major kinds of Poverty, that are:
- Absolute Poverty: When a household’s income falls below the amount required to sustain basic living standards (food, shelter, housing). This condition allows comparisons to be made across nations as well as throughout time.
- Relative Poverty: It is defined from a social perspective as a living standard that is lower than the economic standards of the surrounding population. As a result, it is a measure of income difference.
Causes of Poverty in India
- India’s population has been continuously increasing throughout the years. It has increased at a pace of 2.2 percent per year for the past 45 years, implying that around 17 million people are added to the country’s population each year. This has a significant impact on the demand for consumer products.
- Low Agricultural Productivity: The agriculture sector’s low productivity is a key source of poverty. Low productivity can be caused by a variety of factors.
- It is mostly due to fragmented and subdivided landholdings, a lack of cash, ignorance about modern farming technology, the use of conventional farming practices, loss during storage, and other factors.
- Inadequate Utilization of resources: The country suffers from underemployment and hidden unemployment, notably in the agricultural sector. Low agricultural productivity and a drop in living standards have ensued as a result of this.
- Economic Development at a Slow Rate: India’s economic development has been slow, particularly in the first 40 years of independence before the LPG reforms in 1991.
- Continuous Price hike: The country’s price increases have been consistent, adding to the burden carried by the poor. Although a few people have profited, the lower-income groups have suffered as a result, and are unable to meet even their most basic needs.
- Unemployment is another element that contributes to poverty in India. As the world’s population grows, so does the number of people looking for work. However, the increase of possibilities is insufficient to meet the demand for work.
- Social Issues: In addition to economic problems, social factors obstruct India’s poverty eradication efforts. The laws of inheritance, the caste system, and certain customs, to name a few, are all obstacles in this respect.