India lifted 271 million people out of poverty in a decade. Poverty is a state of economic status where employment or financial resources of a person isn’t enough to meet the minimum standard of living and basic human needs aren’t met. A person needs basic shelter, food, access to health care and education as these are basic human needs to lead a life. But a poor person does not have access to most of these needs. Though India has pulled millions of people out of poverty but yet the distribution of wealth is extremely uneven across the population. In India, 1 per cent of the population holds 73 per cent of the wealth.
Poverty is a problem that all countries are facing but India had done an exceptional job lifting people out of poverty. In India, most poor people who can’t afford food can’t also afford shelter. Over dependency on monsoon with no proper irrigation makes people come to cities which have much stable employment opportunities. Poor people in India depend upon subsidized food rates provided by the government and free food given by organizations and temples. They end up sleeping on the streets with zero access to proper and safe food and basic health care. Urban poverty is higher than in rural poverty. The rural population migrates to cities in search of better job opportunities. Because of the lack of education, most jobs that they find are labour intensive and underpaid. Large numbers of people who live below the poverty line live in slums where there isn’t proper sanitation, infrastructure and no safe access to drinking water.
There are multiple causes of poverty is high employment levels. But the main causes of poverty are the lack of funds to invest in education and limited access to bank systems. Corruption, the growing population which means fewer job opportunities, clears dependency on irregular rains for agriculture and illiteracy. A large portion of the population is dependent on agriculture but agriculture doesn’t pay well low agriculture and many crop failure leads to farmers in debt traps some farmers go to banks or some go to other illegal methods. Historical causes are colonialism, slavery and frequent wars. Because the parents aren’t earning the children usually go get jobs. Children get jobs such as waitressing, mining and other such jobs. When the children are working their education is at pause thus the poverty circle continues. The government has incentives like Indira Awas Yojana which provides housing to the poor. The government has mid-day meal schemes to attract children to stay in schools and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act secures the citizens right to work. The state governments offer food, rations as a cheap and subsidized rate to people owning a below poverty line card. There are also government schemes which allow subsidized school rates for people who own a below poverty line card.
Poverty is an issue for the entire country. India has an annual growth of 7 per cent for 15 years and has put more than 271 million people out of poverty. Elimination of poverty has been India’s priority and should continue to be.