|Demand of the question|
Introduction. Contextual introduction.
Body. Various government efforts. Reasons for failure of poverty alleviation efforts and existence of poverty.
Conclusion. Way forward.
Reducing poverty has become an international concern as SDG 1 targets to end poverty in all its forms everywhere. The Global Multidimensional Poverty Index-2018 released by the UN noted that 271 million people moved out of poverty between 2005 and 2015 in India. Still a big part of the population in india is living Below the Poverty Line. As per Tendulkar Committee this estimation is around 21.9% of the total population of the country.
Various government efforts against poverty:
- Removal of poverty has been a prime focus of Indian policy makers. Integrated Rural Development Program (IRDP) initiated in the early 1980s was one of the early poverty alleviation programmes.
- Various Programs have been launched continuously, like Employment Generation Program, Income Support, Employment Guarantee (like MGNREGA) to eradicate poverty.
- Schemes for providing utilities like housing, electricity etc. to people to ease the financial expenditure of the poor households.
- Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and Housing for All by 2022 Scheme to provide housing to rural and urban poor is an example.
- Indian Government’s latest schemes like Start-Up India and Stand Up India are about empowering people i.e. making people, self–sufficient, to earn their livelihood.
- No proper validation of the method has been made using closely prepared prospective studies.
Reasons for failure of poverty alleviation efforts and existence of poverty:
- It is multi-dimensional menace which needs convergence, synergy from all level of institutions which we lack today.
- Poverty has certain behavioural attributes like strong feeling of marginality, of helplessness, of dependency, absence of childhood as a specially prolonged and protected stage in the life-cycle, a strong predisposition toward authoritarianism, child marriage. These have not been suitably into policy convergence.
- Climate change, Jobless growth, high inflation etc has reduced effect of government policies and efforts.
- Modern digital divides also add up to the issues. World Development Report 2017 highlights India’s lagging in encashing Digital dividend resulting Digital Divide. Thus poor are not able to reap the benefits of Digital Technologies.
- Numerous already functional poverty alleviation programmes work in silos. There is no systematic attempt to identify people who are below poverty line and to determine and address their needs enabling them to move above the poverty line.
- There are cases of corruption in identification of beneficiaries, and there is also a lack of authentic data at every level.
- A typically low administrative capacity, coupled with problems of implementation at State level has often resulted in the under utilisation of funds.
- Leakage at different levels has led to diversion of resources meant for deprived ones.
- These programmes have focused on top to bottom approach, but such approach lacks coordination in decision making and causes clogging of funds and asymmetry in distribution.
- Realistic Assessment of the present situation of poverty in the country in need of the hour.
- Direct income transfer to needy is an immediate solution.
- Taxing wealth of rich people to fund amelioration of poor in the country.
- By improving social infrastructure and job opportunities in rural areas, migration to urban areas can be decreased, and thus urban poverty can also be decreased.
- Investment in Agriculture by the government is necessary to decrease rural poverty. Subsidies address only short-term issues. Also, there is a need to develop technologies, with the help of which farmers can practice all weather agriculture.
Continuous Economic Growth is a prerequisite for the removal of poverty. Ultimately, political will is necessary to eradicate poverty from the country through the implementation of various schemes. Investment in infrastructure, overall, is needed to reduce the cost of utilities. China did so and witnessed the huge fall in the number of people in the poor category. More initiatives like Ayushman Bharat, that empower people, are required.