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The World Bank, which defines poverty as survival on less than $1.25 per day, says India reduced poverty from 60% of the population to 42% between 1981 and 2005. The number in 2010 was 33%. 33% stands for about 400 million people. That’s a third of the world’s poor. An estimated 29.8% of Indians live below the country’s national poverty line in 2010 (see point 2 below).

Poverty in India is still rampant despite an impressive economic growth. An estimated 250 million people are below the poverty line and approximately 75 per cent of them are in the rural areas. In general, poverty can be defined as a situation when people are unable to satisfy the basic needs of life. The definition and methods of measuring poverty differs from country to country. According to the definition by Planning Commission of India, poverty line is drawn with an intake of 2400 calories in rural areas and 2100 calories in urban areas. If a person is unable to get that much minimum level of calories, then he/she is considered as being below poverty line.

 

Approximately 13 Core people in India living in chronic poverty. One-third of world’s poor is Indian, (33% of the global poor). 75.6%of the Indian population living below $2 a day. Nearly nine out of 10pregnant women aged between 15 and 49 years suffer from malnutrition and anemia. More than 40% of the population is illiterate, with women, tribal and scheduled castes particularly affected. The World Bank, citing estimates “that about 49% of the world’s underweight children, 34% of the world’s underdeveloped children and 46% of the world’s wasted children, live in India.1.9 million Children die each year before the age of five. 2 million Indians live with HIV and AIDS.

In the past year food prices have increased significantly, but people’s incomes haven’t kept pace, forcing many families further into hunger. Uttar Pradesh, Uttarkhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa are states having persistent, severe poverty and the majority of India’s most deprived districts. Unequal distribution of income, High population growth, Illiteracy, Unemployment, Large families, Caste system, malnutrition, diseases and long term health problems, Unhygienic living conditions, lack of proper housing, high infant mortality rate, injustice to women and social ill-treatment of certain sections of society are some of the reason. Suicides, Child labor, Infant mortality, hunger deaths, Prostitution, terrorists activities, Violence , Robbery and Terrorism etc are some of the impacts of poverty.

 

Causes of Poverty in India

 ·  High level of dependence on primitive methods of agriculture

 ·  High population growth rate

 ·  High Illiteracy (about 35% of adult population) 

 ·  Regional inequalities 

 ·  Protectionist policies pursued till 1991 that prevented high foreign investment

 Government has introduced a number of antipoverty programs since independence to alleviate poverty. These include various employment guarantee programmes such as National Rural Employment Programme, Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme etc. Recently, Government has initiated National Rural Employment Guarantee Program (NREGP). As per NREGP, the government will provide 100 days of employment per year to whosoever is willing to work. NREGP is considered as a landmark program in poverty alleviation measures.

One of the major problems with poverty alleviation programs is their implementation. Rajiv Gandhi once said that out of 100 paisa allocated for poor only 14 paisa reaches them. But in spite of their weaknesses, poverty alleviated program can be credited for their success in alleviating poverty to an extent. Greater public-private partnership and committed and efficient bureaucratic machinery is required to tackle poverty.

Prayer Points:

1.    Pray for Lord would mercy upon this country forgiveness our sins

2.    Pray that God would raise many persons like Joseph filled with God’s wisdom who would take wise decisions to change poverty.

3.    Pray that people would come to the knowledge of God’s word and obey it, so that curse of poverty would be turned to prosperity.

4.    Pray that poverty would not lead to immoral activities such as robbery, violence, prostitution etc

 Source: Census India ,Wikipedia, data stories, World bank  

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