Poverty is when someone cannot afford the basic necessities of life like food, clothing, shelter and education. It can lead to other problems like poor literacy, unemployment, malnutrition. Poor people are not able to get education due to lack of money and remains unemployed. Unemployed people cannot afford enough and nutritious food for their families and their health declines. A weak person lacks the energy required for the job. A jobless person remains poor only. We can say that Poverty is the root cause of other problems.
United Nations have devised 2 measures to measure Poverty – Absolute poverty and Relative poverty. Absolute Poverty is used to measure poverty in developing countries like India. Relative poverty is used to measure poverty in developed countries like U.S.A. In absolute poverty, a line based on the minimum level of income has been created & is called a poverty line. If per day income of a family is below this level, then it is poor or below the poverty line. If per day income of a family is above this level, then it is non-poor or above the poverty line. In India, the new poverty line is Rs 32 in rural areas and Rs 47 in urban areas.
The government of India also took several measures to eradicate poverty from India. Some of them are – creating employment opportunities, controlling population, etc. In India, about 60% of the population is still dependent on agriculture for its livelihood. Government has taken certain measures to promote agriculture in India. The government constructed certain dams & canals in our country to provide easy availability of water for irrigation. Government has also taken steps for the cheap availability of seeds & farming equipments to promote agriculture. Government is also promoting farming of cash crops like cotton, instead of food crops. In cities, the government is promoting industrialization to create more jobs. Government has also opened ‘Ration shops’. Other measures include providing free & compulsory education for children up to 14 years of age, scholarship to deserving students from a poor background, providing subsidized houses to poor people, etc.
Poverty is a social evil, we can also contribute to control it. For example- we can simply donate old clothes to poor people, we can also sponsor the education of a poor child or we can utilize our free time by teaching poor students. Remember before wasting food, somebody is still sleeping hungry.