Over the past few years, India has been emerging as the next superpower. We are advancing in almost every field, be it technology, education, IT, space research and almost every other field. But when it comes to poverty, maybe we haven’t advanced a lot. It comes as a surprise that there is such huge difference between the richest strata of the Indian society and the poorest one.
On the one where there is someone who cannot even afford even the basic necessities of life, there is another who is enjoying luxuries more than he requires. With every election that goes by, come the false hopes given by prospective candidates for a better standard of living for the poor. These remain simply just empty promises. There was a time when circumstances of our country were such, that a person was not accessible to food, basic amenities, employment etc. Pre independence, the condition of the country was miserable. Poor education and health facilities, malnutrition and famine persisted for years. Over the years, after gaining independence, the situation of the country has improved, although it may not be as much our freedom fighters had hoped to achieve after 65 years of independence. Our freedom fighter like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose fought to rid the country of British rule and power. After 65 years, we are still entrapped and bound by many social evils like poverty and corruption. On the one side, where many employment programmers, old age pension programmers and housing programmers have been introduced, a recent study shows that there are an increasing number of poor people in the country than there were pre-independence. It seems ironical.
On the one side the cost of living is continually on the rise, the BPL (Below Poverty Line) is falling every year. It seems only frugal attempt to show that India has improved on its poverty status. But the statistics prove the other way around. There are more than 300 million in the BPL strata. Out of these some 300 million, UN statistics show that the majority of the BPL in India are illiterate and lack drinking water. Currently it is estimated that India has about a third of the poor in the world. Many scholars and economists have attributed the cause for poverty to many different reasons. Hover the most important one may be due to a high population growth rate, although demographers generally agree that this is a symptom rather than cause of poverty. While services and industry have grown at double-digit figures, agriculture growth rate has dropped from 4.8% to 2%. About 60% of the population depends on agriculture whereas the contribution of agriculture to the GDP is about 18%. The surplus of labor in agriculture has caused many people to not have jobs. Farmers are a large vote bank and use their votes to resist reallocation of land for higher-income industrial projects. Despite the many reasons for poverty cited, none of them can be attributed completely. Since the 1950s, the government has initiated many programs in the hope of bettering the situation. Indian Govt. is trying to develop the travel tour section in India.
Travel to India in different part of the world is going very good and many foreigners come to see the beautiful places of India. While we have a long way from Pre Independence year, but nevertheless we have a long way to go before we rest. Such a social evil cannot be uprooted by the government alone. We also, have to make your contribution to the reduction of poverty from the country. Ironically the organizations have not given focus on Corporate Social Responsibility. It is a combined effort and without it, removal of poverty wouldn’t be possible.
Poverty in India: An Improving Situation