Poverty is still rampant in India. There are 22.15% people living under the poverty line in India according to a 2004-2005 survey by NSSO. The estimate was based on monthly consumption of goods, daily wages, self employment and landless laborers. However Economic growth and positive commercial developments have served to reduce poverty substantially over the years in India.
The causes of poverty in India are its high population growth rate, agrarian form of economy, primitive agricultural practices, illiteracy, ignorance, unemployment, underemployment, caste based politics, urban rural divide, social iniquity and discrimination. One third of the Indian population has emerged from the squalor of poverty in recent year’s inspite of the above factors.
The issue of urban poverty in India can be best expressed with the term pseudo urbanization. Pseudo urbanization is a state when a city is unable to contain its populace in terms of providing livelihood, housing and infrastructure. This is mainly due to the vast and continuous immigration of the rural poor into urban areas. Immigration creates a shortage of resources in the cities. Urban poverty in India and other third world countries has resulted in the formation of large slums and shanty towns.
Indian government has launched various plans to eradicate poverty in India since 1950. For the problem of poverty in India, solutions have been found with some success in recent times. A very good example of this is the civic drive to make the poor self sufficient for the three basic requirements of food, clothing and shelter. The most successful part of the scheme has been food rationing, which has made food available to the poor at controlled prices.
Crusades like ‘national employment program’ and ‘food for work’ initiatives have done much to harness the unemployed as productive beings. Another anti poverty program in recent times, which has won much acclaim, is the ‘rural landless employment guarantee program’. This was drafted in 1983 to target the rural poor for employment and economic rehabilitation.
The eradication of poverty in India has still to go a long way. Poverty solutions in India are expected to make better progress with many programs set up for their upliftment.
Globalization and privatization have also widened the rich poor gap with the rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer. The constant rising inflation has made life tuff for the weaker sections of the society and forces them into child labor. Though povery reduction programs have not failed, it still requires a lot of effort on the part of the government to make the poor people self sufficient. It os not just important to help the needy people wityh money and shelter, but the government needs to provide them with jobs so that they can have a steady income. The figures for poverty show that the economic prosperity has indeed been in India, but the distribution of wealth is not at all even.
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Listing / useful NGO websites India:
ngo in India – Useful directory of Indian NGos.