Problem of Poverty
Poverty is defines as inadequate supply of items that are essential to live a healthy and comfortable life. In the western developed countries some people are poor not because they lack food, clothing or shelter but because he may not have car, TV, computers, pressure cooker etc. But in India, poor people means those who do not get two square meals a day, they sleep on others pavements and live bare bodied and bare footed.
Steps taken to Alleviate Poverty
As the number of poor people in India go up to 400 million, which is equivalent to about one-third of the world’s poor population, Government of India have undertaken a large number of steps for reduction or abolition of poverty.
- Gramin Bank: The nationalized commercial banks do not offer loan to poor people because they do not have the capacity to repay. So a new type of Bank e.g. Gramin Bank which offers loan or micro credit to the farmers and labors has been set up.
- Primary school, Technical School, development of skill like Welding, Carpentry, Black Smithy, etc to be set up.
- Poverty Eradication Schemes (Garibi Hatao): There have been more than 10 such schemes like Employment Guarantee Scheme, PMRY, Rural Employment Scheme, old age pension scheme etc.
India today has a population of around1200 million which is second to China which has a slightly higher population of nearly 1400 million. There is a club called “Billionaire’s Club” i.e., 1000 million or 100 crores of people of which only two members are there e.g. China and India.
In India we have by democratic methods accepted a policy of “Hum do, hamare do”.
Indian soil is fertile, so are Indian men and women, these are families which have five, six, ten even up to twenty children. With such a potential for huge population India, in the recent or even in the remote past, has not fully realized the importance of controlling the population, nor did our country felt the danger of such population. The ancient Hindu society was completely oblivious of the significance of population for the following reasons:
- There was neither any mechanism to count or record of old Indian Territory, nor was there any effort to know about the population.
- There was no homogeneous distribution of population – all scattered in different groups of agricultural and tribal society, the elites being divided among different kingdoms and dynasties without any significant social welfare measures.
- The concept of poverty was virtually unknown in India. Superstition, too much faith on destiny and God and lack of concerted efforts kept a huge country under the blanket of poverty for century after century.
For ages India has been known as a poor country with millions of poor people hardly being able to make both ends meet. Agriculture was of poor standard, though on fertile soil in some areas, dependent entirely on the whims of nature. There was hardly any industry except brick making and terracotta.
With this situation there have been many invasions by foreign powers some after the golden times of Gupta period. The attackers were the Sakas, the Huns, the Lodhis, Pathans, Moghuls, all allured by the richness of the natural resources and unopposed invasions.
All these kept the millions absolutely poor on the international concept specially the western world that were materialistic, development oriented and looked for higher and higher standard of living. In India, even during the British regime, not much of improvement of life style of common people occurred except introduction of Railway, Postal System, Revenue Collection, some Government Offices etc.
With a huge mass of poor people with very little base of economic development Indian Government after independence some sort of planned economy started and some systematic development of the country and society have been attempted. In 1947 almost 800 million people were poor and in the last 70 years since independence a lot of development has taken place, a few million people have been elevated to upper middle class and rich community but the majority has still remained poor, poorest of the poor.
The Government of India has launched various programs in order to fulfill
- Increase in agricultural production
- Area development program
- Program for special target groups (poor people)
Poverty Alleviation Programs (PAPs)
- IRDP – Integrated Rural Development Program
- NREP – National Rural Employment Program
- TRYSEM – Training Rural Youth for Self-Employment
- AAY – Antyodaya Anna Yojana
- RLEGP – Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Program
- JRY – Jawahar Rozgar Yojna
- SFDA – Small Farmers Development Agency
- FFWP – Food for Work Program
- DDP – Desert Development Program
- DPAP – Drought Prone area Program
- Scheme for Providing Self-Employment to Educated Unemployed
- Employment Assurance Scheme
- JGSY – Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana
- SGSY – Swarnajayanthi Gram Swarozgar Yojna
- PMRY – Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojana (PMRY)
In spite of all the above poverty alleviation programs poverty continues to remain among Indian masses. Something more drastic should be done to remove poverty from India.