Essay on Poverty in India: Causes and How to Reduce Poverty in India. In the previous articles, we have given Essay on Corruption and Essay on Women Empowerment. Today we are providing an article about poverty in India. The estimated population of India is 300 million people. More than 70 percent of the population lives in the rural areas where access to resources and quality education is hard. Therefore, the majority of the population fail to acquire the necessary skills for development. Overpopulation in India has led to high unemployment rates and has inhibited the provision of quality public services. The caste system in India has also contributed to the increase in poverty due to the separation of people into thousands of groups.
Causes of poverty in India include lack or resources, high levels of illiteracy, high population growth and the caste system. Other factors may include large families and unequal distribution of income.
Causes of Poverty in India
Climatic conditions constitute an important cause of poverty. The hot climate of India reduces the capacity of people especially the ruralites to work for which production severely suffers. Frequent flood, famine, earthquake and cyclone cause heavy damage to agriculture. Moreover, absence of timely rain, excessive or deficient rain affect severely country’s agricultural production.
The level of productivity in agriculture is low due to subdivided and fragmented holdings, lack of capital, use of traditional methods of cultivation, illiteracy etc. This is the main cause of poverty in the country
Rapidly Rising Population:
The population during the last 45 years has increased at the rate of 2.2% per annum. On average 17 million people are added every year to its population which raises the demand for consumption goods considerably.
The population has been rising in India at a rapid speed. This rise is mainly due to fall in death rate and more birth rate.
India’s population was 84.63 crores in 1991 and became 102.87 crores in 2001. This pressure of population proves a hindrance in the way of economic development.
Education is an agent of social change and egalitarianism. Poverty is also said to be closely related to the levels of schooling and these two have a circular relationship. The earning power is endowed in the individual by investment in education and training. But this investment in people takes away money and lack of human investment contributes to the low earning capacity of individuals.
In this way, people are poor because they have little investment in themselves and poor people do not have the funds for human capital investment.
The caste system in India has always been responsible for rural poverty. The subordination of the low caste people by the high caste people caused the poverty of the former. Due to a rigid caste system, the low caste people could not participate in the game of economic progress.
A Shudra was not allowed to become a trader and a Vaisya could earn his bread only by trade.
Birth would decide their occupation and their economic fate. K. V. Verghese rightly observes, “Caste system acted as a springboard for class exploitation with the result that the counterpart of the poverty of the many is the opulence of the few. The second is the cause of the first.”
Joint family system:
The joint family system provides social security to its members. Some people take undue advantage of it. They live upon the income of others. They become idlers. Their normal routine of life consists in eating, sleeping and begetting children.
In this way, poverty gets aggravated through a joint family system.
An increase in Price:
The steep rise in prices has affected the poor badly. They have become poorer.
Net National Income:
The net national income is quite low as compared to the size of a population. Low per capita income proves its poverty. The per capita income in 2003-04 was Rs. 20989 which proves India is one of the poorest nations.
Lack of Skilled Labour:
In India, unskilled labor is in abundant supply but skilled labor is less due to insufficient industrial education and training.
Deficiency of efficient Entrepreneurs:
For industrial development, able and efficient entrepreneurs are needed. In India, there is a shortage of efficient entrepreneurs. Less industrial development is a major cause of poverty.
Lack of proper Industrialization:
Industrially, India is a backward state. 3% of the total working population is engaged in industry. So industrial backwardness is major cause of poverty.
The social set up is still backward and is not conducive to faster development. Laws of inheritance, caste system, traditions, and customs are putting hindrances in the way of faster development and have aggravated” the problem of poverty.
The Britishers started lopsided development in India and reduced Indian economy to a colonial state. They exploited the natural resources to suit their interests and weaken the industrial base of Indian economy.
In independent India, the development plans have been guided by political interests. Hence, the planning a failure to tackle the problems of poverty and unemployment.
Some other Issues are:
a) Lack of education:
- Literacy in India is a key for socio-economic progress, and the Indian literacy rate is 74.04% (2011 figure) and 81.7% global average
b) The majority of the people are working in the agriculture sector. 49% people working in this field and this sector contributes only 13.7%
c) Bad habit of chewing tobacco and drinking which forces people to throw their money in treatment.
How to Eradicate Poverty?
Priority actions on poverty eradication include:
- improving access to sustainable livelihoods, entrepreneurial opportunities, and productive resources;
- providing universal access to basic social services;
- progressively developing social protection systems to support those who cannot support themselves;
- empowering people living in poverty and their organizations;
- addressing the disproportionate impact of poverty on women;
- working with interested donors and recipients to allocate increased shares of ODA to poverty eradication; and
- intensifying international cooperation for poverty eradication.
- The education of girls and women impacts the rest of the societies in which these girls and women live. The degree of education is linked to the age at which women marry and have children, to their health and diseases, to their economic opportunities, to their social standing, and to their general future wellbeing. Educating girls and women can reduce poverty in developing nations
- As mentioned by Share the World’s Resources, “It is internationally recognized that the debt burden of the world’s poorest, most indebted countries has to be tackled if they are to set themselves on a path of sustainable growth, development, and poverty reduction.” This is why the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have created the Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs).
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