Poverty in India

By Nishtha Chadha

India’s strides in the field of science and technology, industrial development, health, agriculture and booming economy get eclipsed, proud heads move down after having a glance at world hunger index, placing it at 100th spot out of 119 countries, giving it 31.4 score, slipping from previous 33, denoting alarming hunger. It may not be sensational for electronic media but has stirred and sensitized the emotional set up of many nationalistic social workers. Hailing from urban centre, where beggar can even earn at least five hundred rupees daily, it was difficult to believe this distressing picture of our society. Getting shattered and moved by revelation, we started our journey to remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttrakhand and some areas of Orissa to comprehend the pathetic living standard of our counterparts. Our exploring minds could witness sordid condition of inhabitants, rather piteous spectacles of thousands of poors and downtrodden.

After critically analyzing and summarizing, we categorized poor in three types as self responsible poor, circumstantial poor and lust oriented poor. Self responsible poor due to ignominous reasons, incurring money on liquor, indulging in criminal activities, feeding himself on family’s money, is no less than a parasite, lethargic and unvirtuous creature wasting time over inconsequent matters, certainly, has no place in a civilized society, so needs to be condemned by one and all. Fortunately, this lot was in a fewer number, hardly 0.2%, barring disabled or old one, we came across.

Having birth in remote area, especially on mountain hills, Almighty values one with abudance of oxygen, pollution free environment, tranquility of mind, but not enough to fill his belly which needs food and that is very difficult to be earned for lack of resources, to be created by the Government. These hapless creatures are the victims of circumstantial poverty for none of their fault. Many potential poor want to work hard to acquire the niceties of the life at their native place, but opportunities, for the negligence of Government, elude them, forcing them to migrate to other sub-urban or urban centres for their livelihood. The recent data reveals large scale migration about 4-5 lakh from boder towns of Uttrakhand adjoining China, threatening the very security of this region. The right to adequate food is a human right, inherent in all people, to have regular, stable and unhampered access, either directly or by means of financial purchases to quantitatively or qualitatively adequate and sufficient food, corresponding to the cultural traditions of the people and which ensures a physical and mental individual and collective fulfilling and dignified life free from fear. Since independence, no Government has shown serious endeavour to build a sustainable, just and peaceful society, this distributive dilemma of human history, Governments has constantly perpetuated disparities between have and have nots, resulting in worsening of poverty, hunger, ill health and illiteracy. Distributive justice also entitles them equal right on national common, not freebies and doles showered on them by our politicians to grab their votes. The inhabitants are still deprived of basic elements of life access to water, food production, health and job opportunities, probably to the suitability of politicians to keep them dependent as exploitation lot to be lured by false promises and slogans during elections. Successive Governments have formally introduced many schemes to ameliorate the lot of poor without any gross out put, the data indicates that twenty percent inhabitants have no knowledge about these schemes while thirty five percent have know how of only two or three schemes. Only those are benefitted, who either oil the palms of officials or their favourites. However, present Government led by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi tried to bring transparency in the system, yet a lot is to be done to fully streamline it, as poverty is directly proportional to corruption.

Big embezzlements and flawed implementation very often, occupy the headlines of media but malpractice continues as usual as cortrie of corrupt is more powerful.

Braving the sultriness of summer season and chill of winter season, small farmer’s community work overnight to transform India in the field of agriculture, but their selves remain the victims of circumstantial poverty due to debt trap of banks and private sahukars advancing loans to them during the course of harvesting, forcing them to commit suicides under pressure of non payment of loans. Assurance of minimum support price and crop insurance scheme launched by the present Government could not rescue them from this morass.

The graph of poor and that of population of the country is showing ascending trend with marginal difference at around eight percent per year, putting poor at about 33 and population at 130 crores. It is expected of Prime Minister, Modi, known for taking bold decisions, to use his administrative and constitutional authority to formulate a policy to control population, eventually poverty also.

Similarly, the State Governments need to device a policy to restrict the sale of liquor, if not completely abandon it for revenue purposes.

Recently, many fraudesters or the so called economic terrorists were exposed for plundering huge money from banks, but they prefer to turn fugitives, instead of returning the money who connived with them in this laundering process and safe exit from the country will remain a mystery. Infact, money hungry and power hungry poor are directly bonded, interconnected and protectors of each other, having monopolized the resources to befool common man. Whether country’s economy or common man’s interest suffer, that is none of their concern. Many corrupt politicians, bureaucrats do not feel shy of squeezing or embezzling the money allocated for benefits and upliftment of poors.

In simple words, the narrative, of hunger index cannot be changed, unless until the conscious of lust oriented poors is awakened.

Source: Daily Excelsior

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