Here is information on poverty scenario in India and
measures taken to alleviate poverty.
Poverty in India
Poverty in India is still rampant despite an impressive economic
growth. An estimated 250 million people are below the poverty line and
approximately 75 per cent of them are in the rural areas.
In general, poverty can be defined as a situation when people are
unable to satisfy the basic needs of life. The definition and methods of
measuring poverty differs from country to country. According to the
definition by Planning Commission of India, poverty line is drawn with
an intake of 2400 calories in rural areas and 2100 calories in urban
areas. If a person is unable to get that much minimum level of calories,
then he/she is considered as being below poverty line.
Causes of Poverty in India
- High level of dependence on primitive methods of agriculture
- High population growth rate
- High Illiteracy (about 35% of adult population)
- Regional inequalities
- Protectionist policies pursued till 1991 that prevented high
Government has introduced a number of antipoverty
programs since independence to alleviate poverty. These include various
employment guarantee programmes such as National Rural Employment
Programme, Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme etc. Recently,
Government has initiated National Rural Employment Guarantee Program
(NREGP). As per NREGP, the government will provide 100 days of
employment per year to whosoever is willing to work. NREGP is considered
as a landmark program in poverty alleviation measures.
One of the major problems with poverty alleviation programs is their
implementation. Rajiv Gandhi once said that out of 100 paisa allocated
for poor only 14 paisa reaches them. But in spite of their weaknesses,
poverty alleviated program can be credited for their success in
alleviating poverty to an extent. Greater public-private partnership and
committed and efficient bureaucratic machinery is required to tackle