I hate to break this to you, but I have to tell you that India occupies the 2nd place in the extreme poverty populated countries a distinction that no country wants. In fact, the good news here is that India has the 1st position until June 2018 after that Nigeria claimed the position from India. So we are no longer capital to the largest number of poor people in the world.
Despite one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India has a problem for poverty from quite the beginning. Poverty is described as a lack of the income needed to acquire the basic necessities of living a human life.
What is the poverty line and how it is calculated? The poverty line is calculated based on the international poverty line provided by the World Bank. The current international poverty line is $1.90. Poverty line means the estimated minimum level of income needed to secure the basic needs of life. The effects of poverty are more than just missing a meal.
Facts of Poverty in India
At present, about 21.9 percentages of India’s population lives below the poverty line. It is estimated that India has one-third of the world’s poor population. Based on the revised methodology on 2018 June 71.5 million Indians are below the poverty line. According to a survey done by the Cable News and Networks (CNN), only 5% of the population is capable of paying taxes, less than 10% has the salaried job and only 2.5% owns a vehicle.
With these economic struggles, only 3.5% of students graduate in India where 35.7% of the population does not even know how to read or write.
Research suggests that 56% of Indians lack the ability to meet there daily needs a surprise is that even the persons who are above the poverty line are vulnerable to this condition. For every 1,000 babies born in India 43 of them dies before the 5th birthday. Assam is the poorest state of India by having the 31.98% of people are below the poverty line while Goa is the least poor state in India which has 5.09% of people are below the poverty line.
Even though the above facts suggest that India has some serious poverty problems. Statistically speaking over the last 10 years poverty rate in India has almost reduced to half. There is also a prediction that the number is expected to drop to around 20 million in the next four years. While there is much that needs to be done to overcome poverty, there are also signs of poverty is being tackled.
Poverty in Rural Area
Do you know that 80% of India’s poor lives in the rural areas of India and 70% of the population of the Indians are from rural areas, when having a look at the overall population of rural areas around 27 percent of people from the population is poor Majority of poor people in India lives in rural areas because of the poor paying jobs and poor access to health care in those areas increases the risk of poverty. Some of the major reasons for poverty in rural India are
- Economic Cause
- Social Cause
- Personal Cause
- Geographic Cause
Almost 42% of the rural poor falls under the most economically disadvantaged group of rural poor. More than 50 percent of this group if from the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Also, they are 25% of the rural population in which 42% of the people fall under the poor category. Poverty among the marginalized group remains to be in high. One of the major reasons for poverty in rural areas includes the lack of economical-developments.
However, the report also discovers that the rate of reduction of poverty in rural areas per annum advanced to 2.3% in numbers.
Poverty in Urban Areas
In India, the reason for the urban poverty is due to lack of infrastructure in rural areas which forces the inhabitants to seek the refugee in the mega cities. When cities across the world rapidly develop some cities from India remains the same. The poverty rate in urban areas is nearly 14% of the population. One of the major reasons for poverty in an urban area is slums.
A slum is a highly populated urban residential consists of closely packed and incomplete infrastructure inhabited by people below the poverty line. Nearly one in four people in the urban area live in a slum as they lack the affordable housing those people settle wherever they can.
Earlier poverty was seen only as a rural problem but now India faces both rural and urban as well. Nowadays poverty in India has become urbanized with the increasing slums and slum populations and migration from rural to the urban area has been increased. Urban poor is mostly migrants who have come to the urban areas looking for opportunities.
Although those places have electricity and healthcare they can’t be able to afford any of the facilities. Urban poor might have more job opportunities but because of migrants, they have to compete for those jobs with many other people.
At the national level, rural poverty is higher than urban poverty in numbers. Still, India needs to overcome urban poverty as future growth in the world population is based on urban areas.
Causes of Poverty
Highest population growth is one of the important reasons for poverty in India, which results in a shortage of jobs. Creating more jobs will allow those in poverty to increase their incomes through wages. According to the world health organization, it is estimated that 98,000 people from India die from diarrhea each year due to the lack of water sanitation. Even the increase in the prices of basic commodities is a reason for poverty.
Apart from these workers are paid very low in spite of their hard work. The reason for this problem lies with the unorganized sector as owners who do not bother about the livelihood of their workers and taking advantages of their situation. In India unskilled labors are more than the skilled labors due to the insufficient education and training from the lack of educational institutes, poverty is just the reflection of unemployment.
The most concerning problem is the number of workers looking for a job is more than the jobs available. Indian economy is underdeveloped due to the low rate of growth. Lack of food, clothing, housing and other essential requirements of human existence causes the reason for poverty. Presently India is going through the high birth rate and low death rate due to the advancement in the health sector.
Social causes like the caste are an important reason for poverty considering the lower caste people are the ones who mostly live under the poverty line. The void between the rich and the poor people extending as the rich are getting richer and the poor are becoming poorer.
How to Overcome Poverty in India
Poverty is not only about the lack of a financial problem, but also the lack of hope. Because they feel isolated from the community and often feel powerless to alter the course of their situation. Elimination of poverty can be done by these major solutions.
- Creating more jobs
- Population control
- Providing basic educational knowledge
- Equal access to resources and services
- Raising the minimum wage
- Abolishing caste system
- Accelerating economic growth
Poverty must be eliminated from India as every person has the right to live a happier and healthier life. Although statistics suggest that poverty in India is significantly reducing, we are not quite there yet. Feel free to say what’s on your mind in the comment section, it will help us improve the experience.