By Roohi Gupta , Punjab :- Poverty is a very complex social problem. It has been with us and is going to be with us. Poverty is the multi-dimensional phenomenon. Every sociologist and economist has their own definitions for poverty.
“Anyone who has struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.” James Baldwin ,African-American writer.
I think that poverty is the curse because it does not let people to fulfill their basic needs of life – Roti. Kapda aur Makan. Poverty fails people to maintain the better standard of living. Poverty exists in two types – Rural and urban poverty but their problems remain the same such as Unemployment, Size of family, Population growth, Lack of opportunities, Economic factor and Discrimination. If we talk about unemployment first then there is nothing wrong in it. The most important reason is that there is very close association between unemployment and poverty because employment is the source of income and lack of income leads to the poverty. Rural people come to the cities in the search of job but due to the huge number of migrants, they don’t get any kind of work. They have to face many problems in the cities. Scholars often distinguish between relative and absolute poverty. Relative poverty refers in a minimum standard of accessibility to goods and services is determined about which there is some agreement with in society, that all citizens should have. People are relatively deprived if they cannot obtain the good of services. On the other hand absolute poverty refers to insufficiency of the basic necessities of life which are indispensable for physical existence and work. India ranks very high on the poverty index as compared to other countries of the world. More than 75% of poor people reside in villages. Poverty level is not uniform across India. The poverty level is below 10% in states like Delhi, Goa, and Punjab etc whereas it is below 50% in Bihar (43) and Orissa (47). It is between 30-40% in Northeastern states of Assam, Tripura, and Meghalaya and in Southern states of Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
Our govt. has launched many poverty alleviation programmes for both rural and urban areas. Nehru Rojgar Yojna (NRY) was launched in oct 1989 for the benefit of the urban poor. It was designed to provide employment to the urban unemployed and under employed persons living below poverty line having the annual household income less than rs. 11,850/- . In rural areas, Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) was incorporated in the sixth Five year plan for alleviating poverty. The main aim of this scheme is to raise the level of living of the poorest families by giving them income generating assets and across to credits and other inputs. Another scheme Training Rural Youth for Self Employment (TRYSEM) provide technical skills to rural youth to enable them to take up self- employment in agriculture, rural industries, services and business activities. After all these efforts of government, we find a least improvement in the miserable condition of poor.
The main reason is that the poor do not fully participate in the institutions of the larger society. These institutions are such as political parties, labor unions, health, education financial and cultural institutions. The poor are hostile towards these institution and they distrust the agencies of the state managing these institutions. They distrust even the church. The poor have high rates of unemployment and underemployment. The rate of savings is low. Individuals are responsible for his poverty. They don’t come forward to improve their condition. Government is doing their work to change the image of our country and for the removal of poverty. But why don’t we understand that if we shall not take any stand for ourselves then no poverty alleviation programmes can remove poverty from our country. Poverty is the curse for human being and it will be because we are doing nothing to get rid of it. Don’t live with poverty, just nib it’s roots. So what are you waiting for? Get up and do contribute in making government’s efforts fruitful.