Poverty is humiliation, the sense of being dependent on them, and of being forced to accept rudeness, insults, and indifference when we seek help.
In the simplest term, poverty may be defined as a social condition where individuals do not have financial means to meet the most basic standards of life that is acceptable by the society. Individuals experiencing poverty do not have the means to pay for basic needs of daily life like food, clothes and shelter.
Poverty also prevents people off from accessing much needed social tools of well-being like education and health requirements. The direct consequences arise from this problem are hunger, malnutrition and susceptibility to diseases which have been identified as major problems across the world. It impacts individuals in a socio-psychological way with them not being able to afford simple recreational activities and getting progressively marginalized in the society.
Poverty is a worldwide cause of concern even in economically stable countries like the USA. Current statistics state that over half the populations in the world, about 3 billion people, are forced to live on less than 2.5 dollars per day.
According to a survey conducted by the World Bank group, every 1 in 5 Indians is poor. 80% of these poor reside in villages and rural areas.The Union Cabinet defines a household to be below poverty line (BPL) if the annual income of the household is less than Rs. 27,000. People earning more than Rs. 27,000 annually are excluded from the BPL list.
Poverty in India shows a trend based on caste and religion. Poverty is highest among the Scheduled Tribes (ST) followed by the Scheduled Castes (SC).Poverty in India is on a decline, people living in extreme poverty is reducing gradually. The World Poverty Clock predicts that less than 3% of the total population of India will live in extreme poverty by 2021.
CAUSES OF POVERTY IN INDIA
The exponentially growing population stands the main cause behind most of the major problems faced by the country. This increasing population has further led to unemployment and lower per capita income. Illiteracy makes people take up labor jobs or jobs based on daily wages. Unskilled workers get paid very low compared to the amount of physical work done for the whole day.The ever-increasing price of basic commodities makes it difficult for people below the poverty line to afford survival.
The Indian economy is underdeveloped due to the low rate of growth. The net national income is low compared to the population as the economy is rural economy and agricultural income is insufficient. The growth of the economy is also obstructed by social factors like caste system, inheritance and succession, and other outdated traditions. The subsidies provided by the government do not reach the needy because of corruption. Corruption stands a great barrier to the eradication of poverty.
EFFECTS OF POVERTY IN INDIA
The resounding effect of poverty echoes through various layers of an India citizen’s life.
Effect on Health :
One of the most devastating effects that poverty has is on the overall health of the nation. The most prominent health issue developing from poverty is malnutrition. The problem of malnutrition is widespread in all age-groups of the country but children are most adversely affected by this. Limited income in larger families leads to lack of access to sufficient nutritious food for their children. These children over time suffer from severe health problems like low body weight, mental, physical disabilities and a general poor state of immunity making them susceptible to diseases. Children from poor backgrounds are twice as susceptible to suffer from anemia, nutrient deficiencies, impaired vision, and even cardiac problems. Malnutrition is a gross contributor of infant mortality in the country and 38 out of every 1,000 babies born in India die before their first birthday.
Effects on Society :
Poverty exerts some gravely concerning effects over the overall societal health as well.In a backdrop of unemployment and marginalization, the poor shift to criminal activities to earn money. Coupled with lack of education and properly formed moral conscience, a poverty ridden society is more affected to violence by its people against its own people from a sense of deep-seated discontent and rage. Apart from a definite drop in the esthetic representation of the country, homelessness affects child health, women safety and overall increase in criminal tendencies.Lack of money is a major cause of stress among the middle-class and the poor and leads to decline in productivity of individuals.
Large families fail to meet the monetary needs of the members and children as young as 5 years are made to start earning in order to contribute to the family income.Terrorist organizations offer poverty-ridden families money in exchange for a member’s participation in their activities which induces a sense of accomplishment among the youth.
Effect on Economy :
Poverty is a direct index indicating success of the economy of the country. The number of people living under the poverty threshold indicates whether the economy is powerful enough to generate adequate jobs and comforts for its people. Schemes providing subsidies for the poor of the country again impose a drain on the economy.
SOLUTIONS FOR POVERTY
The measures that should be taken to fight the demon of poverty are :
Growth of population at the current rate should be checked by implementation of policies and awareness promoting birth control. All efforts should be made to increase the employment opportunities in the country, either by inviting more foreign investments or by encouraging self-employment schemes. Measures should be taken to bridge the immense gap that remains in distribution in wealth among different levels of the society.
Certain Indian states are more poverty stricken than others like Odhisha and the North East states. Government should seek to encourage investment in these states by offering special concessions on taxes. Primary needs of people for attaining a satisfactory quality of life like food items, clean drinking water should be available more readily. Improvement of the Subsidy rates on commodities and Public Distribution system should be made. Free high school education and an increased number of functioning health centers should be provided by the government.
India has been tagged as a very consistent ‘developing nation’ and this difference between developing and developed will be achieved only when problems like poverty and hunger will be eradicated. Increase economic growth rate will help in providing infrastructure and facilities also generating employment.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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