Detailed Chapter Notes - Poverty as a Challenge Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9

Class 9: Detailed Chapter Notes - Poverty as a Challenge Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9

The document Detailed Chapter Notes - Poverty as a Challenge Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9 is a part of the Class 9 Course Social Studies (SST) Class 9.
All you need of Class 9 at this link: Class 9

Introduction

  • India has the largest single concentration of the poor in the world. This illustrates the seriousness of the challenge.Detailed Chapter Notes - Poverty as a Challenge Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9
  • Poverty means hunger and lack of shelter. It is also a situation in which parents are not able to send their children to school or a situation where sick people cannot afford treatment. 
  • Poverty also means a lack of clean water and sanitation facilities
  • A lack of a regular job at a minimum decent level. Above all, it means living with a sense of helplessness. 
  • Poor are in a situation in which they are ill-treated at almost every place, in the farm, factories, government offices, hospitals, railway stations etc.

Two Typical Cases of Poverty

Poverty means hunger and lack of shelter, lack of clean water and sanitation facilities, lack of a regular job at a minimum decent level. Poverty is considered one of the biggest challenges of independent India. India would be truly independent only when the poorest of its people become free of human suffering. 

Urban Case

Ram Saran is a daily wage labourer in a flour mill near Ranchi in Jharkhand. He earns around Rs. 1500 per month when employed. He supports his family of 6 persons, besides sending some money to his elderly parents. His wife and son also work, but none of his 4 children can attend school. The family lives in a one-room rented house on the outer areas of the city; The children are undernourished, have very few clothes or footwear and no access to healthcare 

Rural Case

Lakha Singh is a landless labourer in a small village near Meerut in Uttar Pradesh. By doing odd jobs for farmers, he earns Rs. 50 per day. Sometimes, he gets some food grain or other items instead of cash. He is not literate and his family of 8 people lives in a Kuchcha hut near the edge of the village. They have no access to healthcare, cannot afford new clothes or even soap or oil

Detailed Chapter Notes - Poverty as a Challenge Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9

Poverty as Seen by Social Scientists

Usually, the indicators used to work out poverty, relate to the level of income and consumption. But now poverty is looked at through other social Indicators like illiteracy level, lack of general resistance due to malnutrition, lack to access to healthcare, lack of job opportunities, lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation etc.
Analysis of poverty based on social exclusion and vulnerability is now becoming very common.

Social Exclusion
It is a process through which individuals or groups are prevented from using facilities, benefits and opportunities that the better-off section of the society enjoy. Social exclusion can be both a cause and a consequence of poverty.  

Vulnerability

Vulnerability describes the greater probability of being more adversely affected than other people when a bad time comes for everybody, whether a flood or an earthquake or simply a fall in the availability of jobs.

Poverty Line

  • A common method used to measure poverty is based on income or consumption levels. A person is considered poor if his or her income or consumption level falls below a given “minimum level” necessary to fulfil basic needs. 
  • The poverty line may vary with time and place. Each country uses an imaginary line that is considered appropriate for its existing level of development and its accepted minimum social norms. 

Detailed Chapter Notes - Poverty as a Challenge Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9

  • While determining the poverty line in India, a minimum level of food requirement, clothing, footwear, fuel and light, education and medical requirement is determined for subsistence. These physical quantities are multiplied by their prices in rupees. The total equivalent is considered the poverty line. 
  • The daily minimum nutritional requirement for a person has been fixed at 2400 calories per person/ per day in rural areas and 2100 calories per person/ per day in urban areas. The monetary expenditure per capital needed for buying these calorie requirements in terms of food grains etc. is revised periodically, taking into consideration the rise in prices. 
  • On the basis of these calculations, for the year 2011-12, the poverty line for a person was fixed at Rs. 816 per month in rural areas and Rs. 1000 per month in urban areas. In this way in the year 2011-12, a family of five members living in rural areas and earning less than about Rs. 4080 per month will be below the poverty line. A similar family in the urban areas would need a minimum of Rs. 5000 per month to meet their basic requirements.
  • For making comparisons between developing countries, many international organizations like the World Bank use a uniform standard for the poverty line: minimum availability of the equivalent of  $ 1.90 per person per day.

Is Present Methodology of Poverty Estimation Appropriate?    

  • No, the present methodology of poverty estimation is not appropriate. It is only a quantitative concept. It captures only a limited part of what poverty really means to the people. It is about a ‘minimum' subsistence level of living rather than a ‘reasonable level of living'. 
  • Many scholars advocate that we must broaden the concept into human poverty. The other aspect like education, shelter, health, job, self-confidence, equality etc. should also be included while calculating poverty.

Poverty Estimates

Detailed Chapter Notes - Poverty as a Challenge Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9

  • There is a substantial decline in poverty ratios in India from about 45 per cent in 1993-94. The preparation of people below the poverty line further came down to about 37.2 per cent in 2004-05. 
  • If the trend continues, people below the poverty line may come down to less than 20 per cent in the next few years. The latest estimates indicated a significant reduction in the number of poor from 407 million in 2004-05 to 270 million in 2011-12.

Vulnerable Groups

  • The proportion of people below the poverty line is also not the same for all social groups and economic categories in India.Detailed Chapter Notes - Poverty as a Challenge Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9
  • Social groups which are most vulnerable to poverty are scheduled caste and scheduled tribe households.
  • Among the economic groups, the most vulnerable groups are the rural agricultural labour households and urban casual labour households.
  • Although the average for people below the poverty line for all groups in India is 22, 43 out of 100 people belonging to the scheduled tribe are not able to meet their basic needs. Similarly, 34 per cent of casual workers in urban areas are below the poverty line. About 34 per cent of casual labour farm(rural areas) and 29 per cent of scheduled castes are also poor.
  • The double disadvantage of being a landless casual wage labour household in the socially disadvantaged social groups of the scheduled caste or the scheduled tribe population highlights the seriousness of the problem.
  • Some recent studies have shown that except for the scheduled tribe household, all the other three groups, i.e. scheduled castes, rural agricultural labourers and the urban casual labour household have seen a decline in poverty in the 1990s.
  • Women, elderly people and female infants are systematically denied equal access to resources available to the family. Therefore women, children (especially the girl child) and old people are the poorest of the poor. 

Story of Sivaraman

  • The family of Sivaraman, a rural landless labourer has been cited as an example of such a family. 
  • There are 8 members in the family and both he and the wife work. His children do not attend school due to poverty. 
  • Only his son gets milk sometimes and they find difficulty in managing even two meals in a day.

Detailed Chapter Notes - Poverty as a Challenge Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9

  • The story portrays the sufferings of Sivaraman who works as an agricultural labourer, that too for just 5-6 months in a year. 
  • The sufferings and inequality within the family for women and children are even more. 
  • Girls are not sent to school and not even given milk to drink, while the youngest child, who is a son gets milk to drink sometimes and his parents also plan for his education.

Inter-State Disparities

Poverty Ratio in the Selected Indian States- 2011 Census: 

Detailed Chapter Notes - Poverty as a Challenge Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9

There has been a significant decline in poverty since independence. Although there has been a reduction in poverty, the success rate of reducing poverty varies from state to state.
  • States with a poverty ratio more than the national average: Orissa, Bihar, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are the most poverty-ridden states of India. The poverty ratio in these states is much higher than the national average. Bihar and Orissa are the poorest states with a poverty ratio of 33.7 and 32.6 per cent, respectively. Most of these states are facing rural as well as urban poverty.
  • States with a poverty ratio less than the national average: There has been a significant decline in the poverty ratio in Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and West Bengal.
  • States with low poverty ratio: Punjab and Haryana have low poverty ratios because of high agricultural growth rates. Kerala has focused on human resource development; West Bengal has taken necessary land reform measures to reduce poverty. In states like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the public distribution of food grains has helped in improving the poverty ratio.

Global Poverty Scenario

  • The population of people in developing countries living in extreme economic poverty-defined by the World Bank as living on less than that $1.90 per day has fallen from 36 per cent in 1990 to 10 per cent in 2015. Although there has been a substantial reduction in global poverty, it is marked with great regional differences.Global Poverty Trend
    Global Poverty Trend
  • Poverty declined substantially in China and Southeast Asian countries as a result of rapid economic growth and massive investments in human resource development. The number of poor in China has come down from 88.3 per cent in 1981 to 0.7 per cent in 2015.
  • In the countries of South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan) the decline has also been rapid from 34 per cent in 2005 to 16.2 per cent in 2013.
  • In Sub-Saharan Africa, the poverty ratio declined from 51 per cent in 2005 to 41 per cent in 2015.
  • In Latin America, the ratio of poverty has also declined from 10 per cent in 2005 to 4 per cent in 2015.
  • Poverty has also resurfaced in some of the former socialist countries like Russia, where officially it was non-existent earlier.
  • The new sustainable development goals of the United Nations proposes ending poverty of all types by 2030.

Causes of Poverty

Detailed Chapter Notes - Poverty as a Challenge Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9

  • British Rule: Britishers ruled India for more than 100 years. Prior to British rule, traditional Industries, for instance, textiles, were flourishing in India. During British rule, they adopted policies to discourage such industries. This left millions of weavers poor.
  • Rural Economy: Indian economy is predominantly a rural economy. As such, the major production is of primary goods. In India, 70% of the total population is engaged in agriculture, but its contribution to the national income is only one-third. It means that despite India being predominantly an agricultural country, it is very much backward in agriculture.
  • Heavy Pressure of Population: The population in India has increased very rapidly. The main factors accounting for it is the sharp tall in death rate but the stable birth rate for many decades. This pressure of population serves as a big stumbling block to economic development.
  • Chronic Unemployment and Underemployment: With a constant increase in population, there has developed a situation of chronic unemployment and underemployment. Due to increasing pressure on land, per hectare availability of land is decreasing. Due to the division of land, production is decreasing. The agriculture sector is also facing a problem of disguised unemployment.
  • Lack of Proper Industrialisation: India is very backward from the industrial point of view. Hardly 3 per cent of the working population is engaged in large scale industries. Consumers’ goods industries like soap, cloth, sugar, leather, oil etc. have developed to a large extent, but capital and producers’ goods industries have not yet developed properly.
  • Social Factors: Social factors like illiteracy, the large size of the family, the law of inheritance, and the caste system are also responsible for the prevalence of poverty-ridden people.

Anti-Poverty Measures   

The current anti-poverty strategy of the government is based broadly on two planks:

  • Promotion of economic growth.
  • Targeted anti-poverty programmes.

Promotion of Economic Growth

  • Since the 1980s, India’s economic growth has been one of the fastest in the world. The growth rate jumped from an average of about 3.5 per cent a year in the 1970s to about 6 per cent during the 1980s and 1990s. The higher growth rates have helped significantly in the reduction of poverty. It is becoming clear that there is a strong link between economic growth and poverty reduction.
  • Economic growth widens opportunities and provides the resources needed to invest in human development. This also encourages people to send their children, including the girl child, to schools in the hope of getting better economic returns from investing in education.

Targeted Anti–Poverty Programmes 

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 

Detailed Chapter Notes - Poverty as a Challenge Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9

  • It was passed in September 2005. This Act provides for 100 days of assured employment every year to every rural household in 200 districts. Later the scheme was extended to 600 districts.
  • One-third of the proposed jobs have been reserved for women.
  • The Central Government established National Employment Guarantee Funds.
  • The state government established State Employment Guarantee Funds for the implementation of the scheme.
  • Under the programme, if an applicant is not provided employment within fifteen days, she/he will be entitled to a daily unemployment allowance.
  • The scheme provided employment to 220 crores person-days of employment to 4.78 crore households.
  • After the revised wage rates in March 2018, the range of wage rate lies in between Rs 281 per day(for the workers in Haryana) to Rs 168 per day(for the workers of Bihar and Jharkhand).

National Food for Work Programme (NFWP)

  • It was launched in 2004 in the 150 most backward districts of the country.
  • The programme is open to all rural poor who are in need of wage employment and desire to do manual unskilled work.
  • It is implemented as a 100 per cent centrally sponsored scheme and food grains are provided free of cost to the states.

Prime Minister Rozgar Yozana (PMRY)

  • It is another scheme which was started in 1993.
  • The aim of the programme is to create self-employment opportunities for educated unemployed youth in rural areas and small business and industries.
  • They are helped in setting up small business and industries.

Rural Employment Generation Programme (REGP)

  • It was launched in 1995. 
  • The aim of the programme is to create self-employment opportunities in rural areas and small towns. 
  • A target for creating 25 lakh new jobs has been set for the programme under the Tenth Five Year Plan.

Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY)

Detailed Chapter Notes - Poverty as a Challenge Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9

  • It was launched in 1999. 
  • The programme aims at bringing the assisted poor families above the poverty line by organizing them into self-help groups through a mix of bank credit and government subsidy.

Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yozana (PMGY)

  • It was launched in 2000. 
  • Additional central assistance is given to states for basic services such as primary health, primary education, rural shelter, rural drinking water and rural electrification.

Antyodaya Anna Yozana (AAY)

  • This scheme was launched in December 2000. Under this scheme, one crore of the poorest among the BPL families covered under the targeted public distribution system was identified. 
  • Poor families were identified by the respective state rural development departments through a Below Poverty Line (BPL) survey. Twenty-five kilograms of food grains were made available to each eligible family at a highly subsidized rate of Rs. 2 per Kg for wheat and Rs. 3 per for rice. This quantity has been enhanced from 25 to 35 kg with effect from April 2002. 
  • The scheme has been further expanded twice by an additional 50 lakh BPL families in June 2003 and in August 2004. With this increase, 2 crore families have been covered under the AAY.

Assessment of Poverty – Alleviation Programmes

  • Poverty-alleviation programmes have been implemented in India since 1978. The results of these programmes have been mixed.
  • On the positive side, the incidence of poverty has declined in India. There has been a significant fall in poverty during the decades of the 1980s and 1990s. Whereas in 1973, about 55 per cent of India’s population living below poverty. This ratio has currently come down to 26 per cent.  
  • On the negative side, poverty reduction remains India’s most compelling challenge. About one-fourth of India’s total population, i.e., about 260 million persons, live below the line of poverty. This shows that poverty alleviation programmes have not lived up to expectations.
    The major weaknesses of these programmes have been as follows:
    (i) Lack of proper implementation.
    (ii) Lack of right targeting.
    (iii) Overlapping of schemes.
    (iv) Non-delivery of benefits to the targeted groups.

The Challenges Ahead

  • Poverty has certainly declined in India. But despite the progress, poverty reduction remains India’s most compelling challenge. Wide disparities in poverty are visible between rural and urban areas and among different states.
  • Poverty reduction is expected to make better progress in the next ten to fifteen years. This would be possible mainly due to higher economic growth, increasing stress on universal free elementary education, declining population growth, increasing empowerment of the woman and the economically weaker section of society.
  • The official definition of poverty captures only a limited part of what poverty really means to people. It is about a “minimum” subsistence level of living rather than a “reasonable” level of living. We must broaden the concept into human poverty.
  • With development, the definition of what constitutes poverty also changes. Eradication of poverty is always a moving target. Hopefully, we will be able to provide the minimum “necessary” in terms of only income to all people by the end of the next decade. But the target will move on for all and achieving gender equality and dignity for the poor. These will be even bigger tasks.
The document Detailed Chapter Notes - Poverty as a Challenge Notes | Study Social Studies (SST) Class 9 - Class 9 is a part of the Class 9 Course Social Studies (SST) Class 9.
All you need of Class 9 at this link: Class 9

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