“Poverty is humiliation, the sense of being dependent on them, and of being forced to accept rudeness, insults, and indifference when we seek help.” —Latvia 1998
In the simplest term, poverty may be defined as a social condition where individuals do not have financial means to meet the most basic standards of life that is acceptable by the society. Individuals experiencing poverty do not have the means to pay for basic needs of daily life like food, clothes and shelter.
Poverty also staves people off from accessing much needed social tools of well-being like education and health requirements. The direct consequences stemming from this problem are hunger, malnutrition and susceptibility to diseases which have been identified as major problems across the world. It impacts individuals in a socio-psychological way with them not being able to afford simple recreational activities and getting progressively marginalized in the society.
The term poverty is interconnected with the notion of the poverty line/ threshold that may be defined as the minimum figure of income that is required in a particular country for maintaining the socially acceptable quality of life in terms of nutritional, clothing and sheltering needs. The World Bank has updated its international poverty line figures to 1.90 USD (Rs. 123.5) per day on October 2015 (based on prices of commodities in year 2011-2012), from 1.5 USD(Rs. 81) as a response to the changes in the cost of living across the world as per current economy. The organization estimates that – “Just over 900 million people globally lived under this line in 2012 (based on the latest available data), and we project that in 2015, just over 700 million are living in extreme poverty.”
Poverty is a worldwide cause of concern even in economically stable countries like the USA. Current statistics state that over half the populations in the world, about 3 billion people, are forced to live on less than 2.5 dollars per day. In India, as per 2014 government reports, monthly per capita consumption expenditure is Rs. 972 per person in rural areas and Rs. 1407 per person in urban areas. This data is currently being accepted as the poverty threshold of the country. As of 2015, 21.9% of the total population lives below the national poverty threshold, as per the data of Asian Development Bank, that’s a whopping 269.7 million individuals not having enough money.
Causes of Poverty in India
Factors contributing to the persistent problem of poverty in the country are many and they need to be identified in order to be addressed properly. They can be categorized under the following heads.
1. Demographic – the main factor that contributes to poverty-ridden state of the country from a demographical point of view is the problem of over population. The growth of population in the country has so far exceeded the growth in economy and the gross result is that the poverty figures have remained more or less consistent. In rural areas, size of the families is bigger and that translates into lowering the per capita income values and ultimately lowering of standard of living. Population growth spurt also leads to generation of unemployment and that means diluting out of wages for jobs further lowering income.
2. Economic –there are a host of economic reasons behind persistence of the poverty problems which are outlined hereunder:-
a. Poor Agricultural Infrastructure –Agriculture is the backbone of Indian economy. But outdated farming practices, lack of proper irrigation infrastructure and even lack of formal knowledge of crop handling has affected the productivity in this sector tremendously. As a consequence there is redundancy and sometimes complete lack of work leading to decreased wages that is insufficient for meeting daily needs of a labourer’s family plunging them into poverty.
b. Unequal distribution of assets – with the economy changing directions rapidly, the earning structure evolves differently in different economic income groups. Upper and middle income groups see a faster increase in earnings than lower income groups. Also assets like land, cattle as well as realty are distributed disproportionately among the population with certain people owning majority shares than other sectors of the society and their profits from these assets are also unequally distributed. In India it is said that 80% wealth in the country is controlled by just 20% of the population.
c. Unemployment – another major economic factor that is causative of poverty in the country is the rising unemployment rate. Unemployment rates is high in India and according to a 2015 survey data, at the all-India level, 77% of families do not have a regular source of income.
d. Inflation and Price hike – the term Inflation may be defined as an increase in prices of commodities coinciding with the fall in the purchasing value of money. As a direct consequence of inflation, effective price of food, clothing items as well as real estate rises. The salaries and wages do not rise as much in keeping up with the inflated prices of commodities leading to effective decrease of the per capita income.
e. Faulty economic liberalization – the LPG (Liberalization-Privatization-Globalization) attempts initiated by the Indian Government in 1991 were directed towards making the economy more suited to international market-trends to invite foreign investments. Successful to certain extent in reviving the economy, the economic reforms had detrimental effects on increasing the wealth distribution scenario. Rich became richer, while the poor remained poor.
3. Social – The various social issues plaguing the country that contributes towards poverty are:-
a. Education and illiteracy – Education, rather its lack thereof and poverty form a vicious cycle that plagues the nation. Not having enough resources to feed their children, the poor consider education to be frivolous, preferring children to start contributing to the family’s income rather than draining them. On the other hand, lack of education and illiteracy prevent individuals from getting better paying jobs and they get stuck at jobs offering minimum wages. Improvement of quality of life gets hindered and the cycle once again comes into action.
b. Outdated Social Customs – Social customs like the caste system cause segregation and marginalization of certain sections of the society. Certain castes are considered untouchables still and are not employed by upper caste, leaving very specific and low paying jobs that they can live off. Economist K. V. Verghese put forth the problem in a very lucid language, “Caste system acted as a springboard for class exploitation with the result that the counterpart of the poverty of the many is the opulence of the few. The second is the cause of the first.”
c. Lack of skilled labour – lack of adequate vocational training makes the huge labour force available in India largely unskilled, which is unsuitable for offering maximum economic value. Lack of education, much less higher education, is also a contributing factor towards this.
d. Gender inequality–the weak status attached with women, deep-rooted social marginalization and long embedded perceptions of domesticity renders about 50% of the country’s population unable to work. As a result the women of the family add to the number of dependents that need to be fed instead of being able to contribute considerably in the family income which might assuage the poverty situation of the family.
e. Corruption – despite considerable efforts from the government in the forms of various schemes to mollify the poverty situation, allegedly only 30-35% actually reaches the beneficiaries due to wide-spread practices of corruption in the country. Wealthy people with privileged connection are able to acquire more wealth simply by bribing government officials to maximize their profits from such schemes while the poor remain in a state of neglect for not being able to assert such connections.
4. Individual – individual lack of efforts also contribute towards generating poverty. Some people are unwilling to work hard or even not willing to work altogether, leaving their families in the darkness of poverty. Personal demons like drinking and gambling also leads to draining of the family income inciting poverty.
5. Political – in India, socio-economic reform strategies has been largely directed by political interest and are implemented to serve a choice section of the society that is potentially a deciding factor in the elections. As a result, the issue is not addressed in its entirety leaving much scope of improvements.
6. Climatic – maximum portion of India experiences a tropical climate throughout the year that is not conducive to hard manual labour leading to lowering of productivity and the wages suffer consequently.
Effects of Poverty
The resounding effect of poverty echoes through various layers of an India citizen’s life. If we try to have a systematic look at them, we should proceed under the three following heads:-
1. Effect on Health – one of the most devastating effects that poverty has is on the overall health of the nation. The most prominent health issue stemming from poverty is malnutrition. The problem of malnutrition is widespread in all age-groups of the country but children are most adversely affected by this. Limited income in larger families leads to lack of access to sufficient nutritious food for their children. These children over time suffer from severe health problems like low body weight, mental, physical disabilities and a general poor state of immunity making them susceptible to diseases. Children from poor backgrounds are twice as susceptible to suffer from anemia, nutrient deficiencies, impaired vision, and even cardiac problems. Malnutrition is a gross contributor of infant mortality in the country and 38 out of every 1,000 babies born in India die before their first birthday. Malnutrition among adult also leads to poor health in adults that leaches their capacity for manual labour leading to a decrease in income due to weakness and diseases. Poverty also causes definite decline in the sanitary practices among poor who cannot afford proper bathrooms and disinfectants. As a result susceptibility to waterborne diseases peak among the poor. Lack of access to as well as means to procure appropriate treatment also affects overall mortality of the population which is lower in poor countries than developed nations like the USA.
2. Effects on Society – poverty exerts some gravely concerning effects over the overall societal health as well. These may be discussed along the following lines:-
a. Violence and crime rate – incidence of violence and crime have been found to be geographically coincident. In a backdrop of unemployment and marginalization, the poor resort to criminal activities to earn money. Coupled with lack of education and properly formed moral conscience, a poverty ridden society is more susceptible to violence by its people against its own people from a sense of deep-seated discontent and rage.
b. Homelessness – apart from a definite drop in the esthetic representation of the country, homelessness affects child health, women safety and overall increase in criminal tendencies.
c. Stress – lack of money is a major cause of stress among the middle-class and the poor and leads to decline in productivity of individuals.
d. Child labour – one of the hallmarks of a poverty-ridden society is the widespread practices of exploitation and the worst of it comes in the form of child labour. Large families fail to meet the monetary needs of the members and children as young as 5 years are made to start earning in order to contribute to the family income.
e. Terrorism – proclivity of youth towards terrorism stems from a combination of extreme poverty and lack of education making them susceptible to brainwashing. Terrorist organizations offer poverty-ridden families money in exchange for a member’s participation in their activities which induces a sense of accomplishment among the youth.
3. Effect on Economy –poverty is a direct index indicating success of the economy of the country. The number of people living under the poverty threshold indicates whether the economy is powerful enough to generate adequate jobs and amenities for its people. Schemes providing subsidies for the poor of the country again impose a drain on the economy.
The measures that should be taken to fight the demon of poverty in India are outlined below:-
1. Growth of population at the current rate should be checked by implementation of policies and awareness promoting birth control.
2. All efforts should be made to increase the employment opportunities in the country, either by inviting more foreign investments or by encouraging self-employment schemes.
3. Measures should be taken to bridge the immense gap that remains in distribution in wealth among different levels of the society.
4. Certain Indian states are more poverty stricken than others like Odhisha and the North East states. Government should seek to encourage investment in these states by offering special concessions on taxes.
5. Primary needs of people for attaining a satisfactory quality of life like food items, clean drinking water should be available more readily. Improvement of the Subsidy rates on commodities and Public Distribution system should be made. Free high school education and an increased number of functioning health centers should be provided by the government.
Poverty is the condition of a person when he/she cannot fulfill his/her basic needs of life such as food, clothing and shelter.
Essay on Poverty
We have provided below various essay on poverty in order to help students. Now-a-days, essays or paragraphs writing are common strategy followed by the teachers in the schools and colleges in order to enhance the skill and knowledge of students about any topic. All the poverty essay are written using very simple words under various words limit according to the need and requirement of students. They can select any of the essays given below according to their need and requirement in the class, any competition or exam.
Poverty Essay 1 (100 words)
Poverty is the state for any person of being extremely poor. It is the extreme situation when a person feels lack of essential items required to continue the life such as shelter, adequate food, clothing, medicines, etc. Some of the common reasons of poverty are like overpopulation, lethal and epidemic diseases, natural disasters, low agricultural output, lack of employment, castism in country, illiteracy, gender inequality, environmental problems, changing trends of economy in the country, lack of proper education, untouchability, limited or inadequate access of people to their rights, political violence, organized crime, corruption, lack of motivation, idleness, old social beliefs, etc. Poverty in India can be reduced by following effective solutions however needs individual efforts of all the citizens.
Poverty Essay 2 (150 words)
We can define poverty as the lack of food, proper shelter, clothing, medicines, education, and equal human rights. Poverty forces a person to remain hungry, without shelter, without clothes, education and proper rights. There are various causes of poverty in the country however solutions too but because of the lack of proper unity among Indian citizens to follow solutions, poverty is increasing badly day by day. Spread of epidemic diseases in any country is the reason of poverty as poor people cannot take care of their health and hygienic condition.
Poverty makes people unable to go to doctor, to go to school, how to read, to speak properly, to eat three times meal, to wear needed clothes, to purchase own house, to get paid properly for job, etc. Poverty forces a person to go towards illness as they drink unclean water, lives at dirty places, and eat improper meal. Poverty causes powerlessness and lack of freedom.
Poverty Essay 3 (200 words)
Poverty is just like a condition of slave when a person becomes unable to do anything according to his/her wish. It has many faces which changes according to the person, place and time. It can be described in many ways a person feel it or live it. Poverty is a situation which no one wants to live however has to carry it by custom, nature, natural disaster, or lack of proper education. The person lives it, generally wants to escape. Poverty is a call to action to the poor people to earn enough money to eat, have access to education, get adequate shelter, wear needed clothes, and protection from the social and political violence.
It is an invisible problem which affects a person and his/her social life very badly in many ways. Poverty is completely preventable problem however there are many reasons which carry and continue it from the past time. Poverty keeps a person lack of freedom, mental well-being, physical well-being, and security. It is very necessary for everyone to work jointly in order to remove poverty from the country and world to bring proper physical health, mental health, complete literacy, home for everyone, and other needed things to live a simple life.
Poverty Essay 4 (250 words)
Poverty is a human condition which brings despair, grief and pain in the human life. Poverty is the lack of money and all the things required to live a life in proper manner. Poverty makes a child unable to enter to the school in childhood and lives his/her childhood in an unhappy family. Poverty is the lack of few rupees to arrange bread and butter of two times daily, buy text books for kids, grief of parents responsible for the care of children, etc. We can define poverty in many ways. It is very common to see poverty in India because most people here cannot fulfill their basic necessities of the life. A huge percentage of population here is uneducated, hungry and without home and clothe. It is the main reason of the poor Indian economy. Because of the poverty, around half population in India is living a miserable life.
Poverty creates a situation in which people fail to get sufficient income so they cannot purchase necessary things. A poor man lives his/her life without any command over basic needs such as two times food, clean drinking water, clothing, house, proper education, etc. People who fail to maintain the minimum standard of living such as consumption and nutrition required for existence. There are various reasons of poverty in India however mal distribution of national income is also a reason. Low income group people are relatively poorer than the high income group. Children of the poor family never get chance of proper schooling, proper nutrition and happy childhood. The most important reasons of the poverty are illiteracy, corruption, growing population, poor agriculture, gap between poor and rich, etc.
Poverty Essay 5 (300 words)
Poverty represents poor quality of life, illiteracy, malnutrition, lack of basic needs, low human resource development, etc. It is a biggest challenge to the developing country especially in India. It is a phenomenon in which a section of people in the society cannot fulfill their basic necessities of life. It has seen some decline in the poverty level in the last five years (26.1% in 1999-2000 from 35.97% in 1993-94). It has also declined at state level such as in Orissa it has been declined to 47.15% from 48.56%, in Madhya Pradesh 37.43% from 43.52%, in UP 31.15% from 40.85%, and in West Bengal 27.02% from 35.66%. Instead of some decline in the poverty in India it is not the matter of happiness because the Indian BPL is still very large number (26 crore).
Poverty in India can be eradicated by the use of some effective programmes, however need a joint effort by everyone not by the government only. Government of India should make some effective strategies aiming to develop poor social sector through key components like primary education, population control, family welfare, job creation, etc especially in the rural areas.
What are Effects of Poverty
Some of the effects of poverty are like:
- Illiteracy: poverty makes people unable to get proper education because of the lack of money.
- Nutrition and diet: poverty causes insufficient availability of diet and inadequate nutrition which brings lots of lethal diseases and deficiency diseases.
- Child labor: it gives rise to the huge level illiteracy as the future of the country gets involved in the child labor at very low cost in their early age.
- Unemployment: unemployment causes poverty as it creates the lack of money which affects people’s daily life. It forces people to live unfulfilled life against their will.
- Social tensions: it creates social tension due to the income disparity between rich and poor.
- Housing problems: it creates the bad condition for people to live without home on the footpath, roadside, other open places, many members in one room, etc.
- Diseases: it gives rise to the various epidemic diseases as people with lack of money cannot maintain proper hygiene and sanitation. Also they cannot afford a doctor for the proper treatment of any disease.
- Feminization of poverty: poverty affects women’s life to a great extent because of the gender-inequality and keeps them deprived of the proper-diet, nutrition, medicines and treatment facility.
Poverty Essay 6 (400 words)
Poverty is a situation in which people remain deprived of basic necessities of life such as inadequacy of food, clothes, and shelter. Most of the people in India cannot get their two times meal properly, sleep at roadside and wear dirty and old clothes. They do not get proper and healthy nutrition, medicines, and other necessary things. Poverty in the urban India is increasing because of the increase in urban population as people from rural areas like to migrate to the cities and towns to get employment or do some financial activity. The income of around 8 crore urban people is below poverty line and 4.5 crore urban people is on borderline of poverty level. A huge number of people live in slum become illiterate. In spite of some initiatives there is no any satisfactory results shown regarding reduction of poverty.
Causes of Poverty
The main causes of poverty in India are growing population, poor agriculture, corruption, old customs, huge gap between poor and rich people, unemployment, illiteracy, epidemic diseases, etc. A huge percentage of people in India depend on agriculture which is poor and cause poverty. Generally people face shortage of food because of poor agriculture and unemployment. Ever growing population is also the reason of poverty in India. More population means more food, money and houses. In the lack of basic facilities, poverty grows more rapidly. Becoming extra rich and extra poor creates a huge widening gap between the rich and the poor people. Rich people are growing richer and poor people are growing poorer which creates an economic gap between the two.
Effects of Poverty
Poverty affects people’s life in many ways. There are various effects of poverty such as illiteracy, poor diet and nutrition, child labor, poor housing, poor life style, unemployment, poor hygiene, feminization of poverty, etc. Poor people cannot arrange a healthy diet, maintain good life style, home, nice clothes, proper education, etc because of the lack of money which creates a huge difference between rich and poor. This difference leads to the undeveloped country. Poverty forces small children to do work at low cost and help their family financially instead of going to the school.
Solutions to Eradicate Poverty
It is very necessary to solve the problem of poverty on urgent basis for the goodness of humanity on this planet. Some of the solutions that can play great role in solving the problem of poverty are:
- Farmers should get proper and required facilities for good agriculture as well as to make it profitable.
- Adult people who are illiterate should be given required training for the betterment of life.
- Family planning should be followed by the people in order to check the ever-rising population and thus poverty.
- Corruption should be ended all over the world to reduce the poverty.
- Each and every child should go to the school and take proper education.
- There should be ways of employment where people of all categories can work together.
Poverty is not only the problem of a person however it is a national problem. It must be solved on urgent basis by implementing some effective solutions. Variety of steps has been taken by the government to reduce poverty however no clear results are seen. Eradication of poverty is necessary for the sustainable and inclusive growth of people, economy, society and country. Eradication of poverty can be done effectively by the unite effort of each and every person.
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