International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

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    In Context

    • Recently, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was celebrated on October 17 by the United Nations. 

    About the Day

    • Aim: 
      • To raise awareness about the struggles of people living in poverty.
    • Theme: 
      • Building forward together: Ending Persistent Poverty, Respecting all People and our Planet.
    • History and Significance:
      • The event was first commemorated in Paris, France, in 1987 at the Human Rights and Liberties Plaza to honour victims of poverty, hunger, violence, and fear. 
      • The commemorative stone was unveiled by Joseph Wresinski, founder of the International Movement ATD Fourth World.
      • Then, in 1992, the United Nations (UN) officially designated October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

    What is Poverty?

    • According to the World Bank, Poverty is pronounced deprivation in well-being and comprises many dimensions.
      • It includes low incomes and the inability to acquire the basic goods and services necessary for survival with dignity. 
      • Poverty also encompasses low levels of health and education, poor access to clean water and sanitation, inadequate physical security, lack of voice, and insufficient capacity and opportunity to better one’s life.

    Statistics about Poverty in India

    • According to the National Poverty Line in 2011, around 21.9% of the population is below the Poverty Line
    • The current poverty line is 1,059.42 Indian Rupees (62 PPP USD) per month in rural areas and 1,286 Indian rupees (75 PPP USD) per month in urban areas.
    • Poverty estimation in India is carried out by NITI Aayog’s task force through the calculation of the poverty line based on the data captured by the National Sample Survey Office under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI).
    • Poverty is measured based on consumer expenditure surveys of the National Sample Survey Organisation. A poor household is defined as one with an expenditure level below a specific poverty line.
      • The incidence of poverty is measured by the poverty ratio, which is the ratio of the number of poor to the total population expressed as a percentage. It is also known as the head-count ratio.
    • Alagh Committee (1979) determined a poverty line based on a minimum daily requirement of 2400 and 2100 calories for an adult in Rural and Urban areas respectively.
    • Subsequently, different committees constituted for poverty estimation: Lakdawala Committee (1993), Tendulkar Committee (2009), Rangarajan committee (2012).
    • As per the Rangarajan committee report (2014), the poverty line is estimated as a Monthly Per Capita Expenditure of Rs. 1407 in urban areas and Rs. 972 in rural areas.

    Important Poverty Alleviation Programmes of India

    • Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana
    • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) 2005
    • National Rural & Urban Livelihood Mission
    • National Urban Livelihood Mission
    • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana
    • Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY)
    • Valmiki Ambedkar Awas Yojana (VAMBAY)
    • Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY)
    • National Food for Work Programme
    • Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana
    • Schemes for Financial Assistance:
      • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi
      • Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana
      • Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP)

    Challenges to Eradicate Poverty in India

    • Despite rapid growth and development, an unacceptably high proportion of our population continues to suffer from severe and multidimensional deprivation. 
    • Lack of data: 
      • While a large number of poverty alleviation programmes have been initiated, they function in silos. There is no systematic attempt to identify people who are in poverty, determine their needs, address them and enable them to move above the poverty line.
      • There is no method to ensure that programmes reach everybody they are meant for.
    • Allocation of resources:
      • The resources allocated to anti-poverty programmes are inadequate.
        • For instance, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act does not provide the guaranteed 100 days of work in many states.
    • Lack of proper implementation and right targeting.
    • Overlapping of schemes:
      • There has been a lot of overlapping of schemes.
    • Every year a huge number is added to the population pool of the country. This renders the scheme ineffective.

    Way Forward

    • Both monetary and non-monetary measures of poverty are needed to address the needs and deprivations faced by poor populations.
    • Better health, sanitation and education will not only help raise the productivity of millions, but they will also empower the people to meet their aspirations, and provide the country with new drivers of economic growth.
    • Creating more and better jobs and improving human development outcomes for the poor.
    • India’s women have been withdrawing from the labour force since 2005 and less than one-third of working-age women are now in the labour force. As a result, India today ranks last among BRICS countries, and close to the bottom in South Asia in female labour force participation. So, focusing on women participation in the workforce.

    Source: IndiaToday