Poverty in India
By Saroj Swain
8 Dec 2011
India is the only country in the South Asia region that is on its way to achieve the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to halve the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015.
Since its independence, the issue of poverty within India has remained a prevalent concern. As of 2010, more than 37% of India's population of 1.35 billion still lives below the poverty line. More than 22% of the entire rural population and 15% of the urban population of India exists in this difficult physical and financial predicament.
The division of resources, as well as wealth, is uneven in India - this disparity creates different poverty ratios for different states. For instance, states such as Delhi and Punjab have low poverty ratios. On the other hand, almost half the population in states like Bihar and Orissa live below the poverty line.A number of factors are responsible for poverty
A number of factors are responsible for poverty in the rural areas of India. Rural populations primarily depend on agriculture, which is highly dependent on rain patterns and the monsoon season. Inadequate rain and improper irrigation facilities can obviously cause low, or in some cases, zero production of crops.Indian system of agricultural marketing suffers from a number of defects. As a consequence, the Indian farmer is deprived 'of a fair price for his produce. Additionally, the Indian family unit is often large, which can amplify the effects of poverty. The government has planned and implemented poverty eradication programs, but the benefits of these programs are yet to bear fruits. Increasing Poverty in India
The phenomenal increase in population in the cities is one of the main reasons for poverty in the urban areas of India. A major portion of this additional population is due to the large scale migration of rural families from villages to cities. This migration is mainly attributed to poor employment opportunities in villages.
Since 1970, the Indian government has implemented a number of programs designed to eradicate poverty, and has had some success with these programs. The government has sought to increase the GDP through different processes, including changes in industrial policies. There is a Public Distribution System, which has been effective to some extent. Other programs include the Integrated Rural Development Program, Jawahar Rozgar Yojana and the Training Rural Youth for Self Employment (TRYSEM), and other on-going initiatives.On the positive side, in recent times, rural India too has witnessed development but there's still a long way to go. There may be TV sets and mobile phones in every household but modern education is still beyond the reach of many children in rural areas.
However, there's no denying the fact that rural India is now a huge market with great potential for development. This, in fact, holds the key to sustainable economic growth of the country.