Poverty in India

Have a look around you and tell me what you see? Do you see beggars on the streets, outside of shops, and on the roads? What about rickshaw-pullers arguing with a customer for an extra ten rupees? Are you aware of the crime rate and drug abuse even by children in our society? Now, there could be multiple reasons, but poverty in India seems to be the prominent cause behind these issues. 


India is the second-most populous nation in the world, with about 1.2 billion people. Our country has experienced growth rates of up to 10% over multiple years and is one of the largest economies in the world. However, only a tiny fraction of the Indian population has availed benefits from the stunning economic boom so far. Most of the people in India still live in abject poverty. That’s why it’s essential to understand the concept of poverty as a challenge in India.


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Introduction of Poverty in India

The world has been going through increased urbanisation for numerous years now. Urbanisation has offered enhanced growth, a reliable food supply, economies of scale, stable public services and various other benefits, including huge markets that contribute to education, businesses, and innovation. However, while these developments are beneficial in the long run, it has also introduced a few adverse outcomes. 


As the population grows at an unusual pace, the majority of communities are overwhelming cities that lack proper infrastructure and municipal organisations to manage the increasing challenges. It is a problematic issue in India, where there are urban slums and other areas with intensive population growth. By doing a project on poverty in India for Class 12, students can closely understand the concept and reality associated with this topic. 


Challenges of Poverty

One of the toughest challenges experienced by independent India is poverty and it further brings more challenges in life. 


Effects on Health: This biggest challenge of poverty is poor health. People who suffer from poverty have no access to sufficient food, proper clothing, medical facilities and a clean environment. The lack of these basic needs leads to poor health. Most of them even suffer from malnutrition, and they don’t even have enough money to visit a doctor. 


Effects on Society: There are a lot of challenges of poverty faced by society. 


  • First, the violence and crime rate increases a lot. Due to unemployment and marginalization, poor people usually indulge in unfair practices like prostitution, theft and other criminal activities. 

  • Second, people are generally homeless, so they sleep on roadsides, making it unsafe for them, mostly women and children. 

  • Third, poverty forces people to send their kids to work rather than putting them in schools. On average, poor families send their children at the age of 5 years only. 


Effects on Economy: Poverty is directly correlated to the success of the economy for a country. The number of people living under the poverty line reflects how powerful the economy is. 


These are some of the prominent examples of poverty in India that people face daily.


Consequences of Poverty in India

India also faces an elevated risk of disease and health care systems struggle to support and can’t respond efficiently. Almost 800 million people in India are marked as poor, and most of them live in the countryside while keeping afloat with odd jobs. The lack of employment, which offers a liveable wage in most rural areas, is driving a lot of Indians into swiftly developing metropolitan areas like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Calcutta. Even there, most of them lead a life of poverty and despair in massive slums made up of several corrugated ironworks, without enough drinking water supply, without garbage disposal, electricity, and various other necessities. 


Furthermore, such consequences of poverty in India cause diseases like cholera, dysentery, and typhus, in which particularly kids suffer and die. So, poverty in India mostly affects kids, families and individuals in a wide range of different ways like: 


  • High infant mortality

  • Malnutrition

  • Child labour

  • Lack of education

  • Child marriage

  • HIV / AIDS


Projects on Poverty in India

Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP): It was first introduced in 1978-79 and universalized from 2nd October 1980, to offer assistance to the rural poor in the form of subsidy and bank credit for effective employment opportunities through successive plan periods.


Jawahar Rozgar Yojana/Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana: The JRY was introduced to create meaningful employment opportunities for the unemployed and underemployed in rural parts of the country through the formation of economic infrastructure, community and social assets.


Food for Work Programme: It focuses on improving food security through wage employment. Foodgrains are supplied to states for free; thus, the supply of food grains from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns has been slow.


Rural Housing – Indira Awaas Yojana: The Indira Awaas Yojana (LAY) programme is meant to offer free housing to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in rural areas and keep up the targets would be the households of SC/STs.


In the end, we understood what poverty in India is all about and how knowing the causes and consequences can help us fight poverty and make India a better place.


Tips and Tricks for Students to learn about the Topic of Poverty in Social Science from Vedantu

Vedantu is an emerging online learning platform for students who wish to excel in their academics at school and entrance exams.


  1. Vedantu provides a variety of articles strictly dedicated to learning about Poverty and related topics as a part of the syllabus in social science for different classes like free access to Question Answers based on Poverty, for example, Causes of poverty and the steps taken by the Government to reduce poverty by just signing up at Vedantu. Some of the articles are also provided in the section of FAQs in Question number 7.

  2. Vedantu also provides a variety of free videos by talented and dedicated teachers specialising in Social Science to learn about Poverty and related topics of Social science. Some of them include Poverty as a Challenge for the students of Class 9 Economics and What is Poverty for Class 12 Economics. 

  3. In this list, Vedantu also includes study material for all the students of Class 5-12 of all subjects in CBSE, ICSE and State Board all for free. This includes NCERT Solutions, Revision and keynotes, Important Questions, Solved References, Solved Sample question papers and Previous Year's question papers by the talented and experienced faculty at Vedantu from prestigious institutions like IITs and other top tier colleges of the country. 

  4. Vedantu provides free Micro courses at a very economical price of 1 rupee per course for the students to prepare for the important topics of Business studies like Management and other relevant topics of social science. Register yourself at vedantu.com to kickstart your spectacular academic adventure now!

FAQs on Poverty

1. Why is Poverty happening throughout India?

Poverty as a challenge in India expands in multiple layers, which means there is not just a single reason behind the continuous increase in poverty. The rising poverty level has mostly to do with the growing population, the high illiteracy rate (almost 35% of the adult population), and the absence of well-paid job opportunities. 

2. How has the Indian government tried to deal with the poverty issue?

The Indian government has introduced numerous projects and programs to tackle the growing poverty.  Due to these ambitious efforts under the National Rural Guarantee Scheme, at least one member from India's 60 million rural households is guaranteed 100 days of work every year. As per the scheme, they will earn a minimum wage of 60 rupees or an unemployment allowance if no there is no work to do.

3. Is Poverty significant in urban or rural areas of India?


In India, poverty rates are higher in rural areas as compared to urban areas. Moreover, rural areas are still home to the majority of the total population. Thus, poverty is concentrated in a significant proportion in rural areas. 

4. How long will it take to read, understand and learn about Poverty from the above article?


This article serves as a first read treat to a fresh topic for students or a brush-up revision to basics for senior secondary students. As a result, this reading would take a maximum of 2 hours of focused attention to grasp the very essence of this article.

5. Why is it so important for students to study and understand the concept of poverty?

India is a developing and emerging nation on the world map. It has launched a big number of successful missiles and has one of the most advanced technologies. Still, India has been facing severe issues of poverty with the effect of an exploding population and degradation of resources. It is, therefore, a moral responsibility for every student to read and understand the concept of poverty to help the nation tackle this ever-widening web of poverty. Moreover, students can also find this topic as a hotspot for exam preparation as poverty as a chapter holds decent weightage in almost every class from 8 to 12.

6. What is Poverty all about in brief?

Poverty is a situation where even basic human needs like food, clothing and shelter become hard to fulfil for a person or community. It is measured through a poverty line based on a necessary per capita income of an individual to fulfil the basic human needs of an individual and family in a particular region. Poverty is a consequence of overpopulation, unemployment, lack of education and training. It can be eradicated with the constant efforts made by Government and civilians to educate the people and community to nourish and flourish the family, and country as a whole.

7. Which classes include Poverty as a part of their syllabus?

Students of Class 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 can find Poverty as a chapter or a part of their chapter in the social science subjects of economics and civics or political science. These include chapters like Introduction to poverty(Class 12), Poverty as a challenge(Class 8), Poverty as economic problem and challenge(Class 10)

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