The Indian Planning Commission defined “poverty line” on the basis of nutritional requirements of 2400 calories per person per day for rural areas and 2100 calories per person per day for urban areas.


  • Absolute Poverty- Absolute Poverty is often known as “subsistence poverty”. Here Individual is not able to meet the basic “physical needs” like food, clothing, shelter, health needs etc.
  • Relative Poverty- “Relative Poverty is measured in terms of judgments by members of a particular society of what is considered as reasonable and acceptable standard of living styles of life according to the conventions of the day. An individual may be relatively poor among the persons of his own group who are richer than him.”


What are the causes underlying poverty?

According to Henry George, the main cause of poverty is the personal ownership and monopoly of the individual on the land. He writes, “In the great cities, where land is so valuable that it is measured by the foot, you will find the extremes of poverty and luxury.

And this disparity in condition between the two extremes of the social scale may always be measured by the price of land. According to Marx, the main cause of poverty is the exploitation of the workers by the capitalists. According to Malthus, increasing population is the cause of poverty. These thinkers however, laid emphasis on one particular cause of poverty. As a matter of fact the causes of poverty are numerous and complex.

Gillins listed three factors as primarily responsible for poverty;

  1. Incapacity of the individual, which may be due to a faculty heredity or to the environment
  2. Unfavorable physical conditions, such as poor natural resources, bad climate and weather, and epidemics; and
  3. Misdistribution of wealth and of income and of the income and the imperfect functioning of our economic institutions. Of these three factors the last two factors are principally responsible for poverty in India. Ours is a country rich in natural resources, but we have not yet adequately exploited them. A vast area of land remains uncultivated. Our means of cultivation are old styled resulting in less production. Industries are not well developed; a vast portion of population depends on agriculture. And in addition to its [1]wealth is unevenly distributed due to bad economic planning which even leads to wastage.


  1. Defective social organization like educational deficiencies, poor housing and living conditions rapid technological advancements.
  2. War brings more number of disabled, widows in society, which has direct bearing on their living standard
  3. Physical and mental illness
  4. Accidents and Trauma
  5. Illiteracy
  6. Extravagant lifestyle
  7. Big Family Size


  1. Extreme climatic and weather conditions
  2. Absence of natural resources
  3. Natural calamities like tsunami, earthquakes, cyclones, cloud burst, avalanche etc.


  1. Agricultural, Non-Availability of machinery and tools affects cultivation process
  2. Unequal distribution of goods and wealth
  3. Economic Debacle
  4. Unproductive hoarding and amassing of assets


  1. Joint family system
  2. Caste System
  3. Customs and traditions like dowry system
  4. Unequal and costly educational system


  1. Poor government policies and taxation norms exploits the situation more


  1. Increasing birth rate
  2. Decreasing death rate

Some of the other causes of poverty are- overpopulation, scarce resources, illiteracy, caste and untouchability, gender inequality, unequal pay of income, failure to educate girl child, economic inequality, natural causes, labor exploitation, brain drain, wastage of resources, corruption and black money, resistance to change, unorganized sector, shortages of food etc.

Aishwarya Says:

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.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.


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