Free sample essay on Eradication of Poverty in India. India evokes many images but an image that is hard to dispel is that of a seething masses of humanity living in abject poverty.
Poverty is generally characterised as a state of deprivation, dependence and degradation below physically and socio-culturally acceptable norms or standards set by a society or nation. It is associated with a minimum level of living for its population. This definition aptly suits India where about one-fourth of the total population is forced to live below the poverty line.
Rural India constitutes a total of 0.63 million villages with a population of 543.4 million. The basic statistics of rural areas show there is a skewed distribution of land holdings and population in the villages, while a large number of workers are landless labourers. Besides, a poor wage structure, a low level of literacy, poor health and poor infrastructure facilities contribute to the problem of poverty. In addition to the economic constraints there are religious attitudes, caste, stereotype personality patterns, prejudices, superstitions and taboos which perpetuate the ingrained social structure. All these factors hinder the pace of developmental process in rural India and plunge the society into poverty.
Urban area is also not free from poverty. Here, an acute discrimination between haves and have-not’s can be seen easily. In capital city Delhi itself more than twenty per cent of the total population lives in jhuggis (slums). Unemployment, underemployment are also not absent from urban India. Avenues of higher education are open to city dwellers, but job opportunities are not keeping pace with the number of educated people. Meaningful employment is not available to able-bodied youths. Thus unemployment persuades poverty. It is a major cause of poverty.
Poverty eradication programmes and policies are as old as the Independent India, though many new schemes and plans are initiated almost everyday to eradicate poverty. Government is well aware of this. There have been continuous efforts to transform the traditional villages, through schemes like Community Development Programme, IRDP, TRYSEM, JRY, Operation Blackboard, National Literacy Mission, Integrated Child Development Programme, and Balwadi Nutrition programme, Indira Awas Yojana, etc. The Panchayati Raj Institutions have been established at village, block and district levels for democratic decentralisation and devolution of power to the people. However, the .effectiveness of this and other such institutions has been limited and an erosion of their powers and functions has been reported from various states. The cooperative movement aimed at the development of the weaker section has also not succeeded. Its failure could be located in Nehru’s statement: “The state should promote and assist the cooperative movement instead of trying to control it”.
Certainly there are many programmes and policies for poverty eradication. But there is a lack of effective implementation. Thus, to eradicate poverty it is necessary to make the implementing machinery efficient, prompt and responsive. They should be made accountable. Those found insincere and dishonest should be penalised.