Notes : Poverty as Challenge Class 8 Notes | EduRev

Class 8 : Notes : Poverty as Challenge Class 8 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Finish Line & Beyond
Social Science Class 9
th
 
Poverty as a Challenge
Social exclusion
Vulnerability
Poverty Line
Poverty Estimates
Vulnerable Groups
Inter-State Disparities
Global Poverty Scenario
Causes of Poverty
Anti-Poverty Measures
www.excellup.com ©2009 send your queries to enquiry@excellup.com
Page 2


Finish Line & Beyond
Social Science Class 9
th
 
Poverty as a Challenge
Social exclusion
Vulnerability
Poverty Line
Poverty Estimates
Vulnerable Groups
Inter-State Disparities
Global Poverty Scenario
Causes of Poverty
Anti-Poverty Measures
www.excellup.com ©2009 send your queries to enquiry@excellup.com
Finish Line & Beyond
Introduction
In our daily life, we come across many people who we think are poor. They could be 
landless labourers in villages or people living in overcrowded jhuggis in cities. They 
could be daily wage workers at construction sites or child workers in dhabas. Roughly 
260 million (or 26 crore) people in India live in poverty. India has the largest single 
concentration of the poor in the world. This illustrates the seriousness of the 
challenge.
Following issues are related to poverty:
• Landlessness
• Unemployment
• Size of families
• Illiteracy
• Poor health/malnutrition
• Child labour
• Helplessness
Poverty as seen by social scientists
Since poverty has many facets, social scientists look at it through a variety of 
indicators. Usually the indicators used relate to the levels of income and 
consumption. But now poverty is looked through other social indicators like illiteracy 
level, lack of general resistance due to malnutrition, lack of 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
According to this concept, poverty must be seen in terms of the poor having to live 
only in a poor surrounding with other poor people, excluded from enjoying social 
equality of better -off people in better surroundings. Social exclusion can be both a 
cause as well as a consequence of poverty in the usual sense. Broadly, it is a process 
through which individuals or groups are excluded from facilities, benefits and 
opportunities that others (their “betters”) enjoy. 
Vulnerability
Vulnerability to poverty is a measure, which describes the greater probability of 
certain communities (say, members of a backward caste) or individuals (such as a 
widow or a physically handicapped person) of becoming, or remaining, poor in the 
coming years. Vulnerability is determined by the options available to different 
communities for finding an alternative living in terms of assets, education, health 
and job opportunities. Further, it is analysed on the basis of the greater risks these 
groups face at the time of natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunami), terrorism etc. In 
fact, vulnerability describes the greater probability of being more adversely affected 
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Page 3


Finish Line & Beyond
Social Science Class 9
th
 
Poverty as a Challenge
Social exclusion
Vulnerability
Poverty Line
Poverty Estimates
Vulnerable Groups
Inter-State Disparities
Global Poverty Scenario
Causes of Poverty
Anti-Poverty Measures
www.excellup.com ©2009 send your queries to enquiry@excellup.com
Finish Line & Beyond
Introduction
In our daily life, we come across many people who we think are poor. They could be 
landless labourers in villages or people living in overcrowded jhuggis in cities. They 
could be daily wage workers at construction sites or child workers in dhabas. Roughly 
260 million (or 26 crore) people in India live in poverty. India has the largest single 
concentration of the poor in the world. This illustrates the seriousness of the 
challenge.
Following issues are related to poverty:
• Landlessness
• Unemployment
• Size of families
• Illiteracy
• Poor health/malnutrition
• Child labour
• Helplessness
Poverty as seen by social scientists
Since poverty has many facets, social scientists look at it through a variety of 
indicators. Usually the indicators used relate to the levels of income and 
consumption. But now poverty is looked through other social indicators like illiteracy 
level, lack of general resistance due to malnutrition, lack of 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
According to this concept, poverty must be seen in terms of the poor having to live 
only in a poor surrounding with other poor people, excluded from enjoying social 
equality of better -off people in better surroundings. Social exclusion can be both a 
cause as well as a consequence of poverty in the usual sense. Broadly, it is a process 
through which individuals or groups are excluded from facilities, benefits and 
opportunities that others (their “betters”) enjoy. 
Vulnerability
Vulnerability to poverty is a measure, which describes the greater probability of 
certain communities (say, members of a backward caste) or individuals (such as a 
widow or a physically handicapped person) of becoming, or remaining, poor in the 
coming years. Vulnerability is determined by the options available to different 
communities for finding an alternative living in terms of assets, education, health 
and job opportunities. Further, it is analysed on the basis of the greater risks these 
groups face at the time of natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunami), terrorism etc. In 
fact, vulnerability describes the greater probability of being more adversely affected 
www.excellup.com ©2009 send your queries to enquiry@excellup.com
Finish Line & Beyond
than other people when 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 the 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 fulfill basic needs. What is necessary to 
satisfy basic needs is different at different times and in different countries. 
Therefore, 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.  While determining the poverty line in India, a 
minimum level of food requirement, clothing, footwear, fuel and light, educational 
and medical requirement etc. are determined for subsistence. The accepted average 
calorie requirement in India is 2400 calories per person per day in rural areas and 
2100 calories per person per day in urban areas. However, for making comparisons 
between developing countries, many international organisations like the World Bank 
use a uniform standard for the poverty line: minimum availability of the equivalent of 
$1 per person per day.
Poverty Estimates
There is substantial decline in poverty ratios in India from about 55 per cent in 1973 
to 36 per cent in 1993. The proportion of people below poverty line further came 
down to about 26 per cent in 2000. If the trend continues, people below poverty line 
may come down to less than 20 per cent in the next few years. Although the 
percentage of people living under poverty declined in the earlier two decades (1973– 
1993), the number of poor remained stable around 320 million for a fairly long 
period. The latest estimates indicate a significant reduction in the number of poor to 
about 260 million.
Vulnerable Groups
The proportion of people below poverty line is also not same for all social groups and 
economic categories in India. Social groups which are most vulnerable to poverty are 
scheduled caste and scheduled tribe households. Similarly, among the economic 
groups, the most vulnerable groups are the rural agricultural labour households and 
the urban casual labour households.  51 out of 100 people belonging to scheduled 
tribes are not able to meet their basic needs. Similarly, 50 per cent of casual workers 
in urban areas are below poverty line. About 50 per cent of landless agricultural 
workers and 43 per cent of scheduled castes are also poor.  Apart from these social 
groups, there is also inequality of incomes within a family. In poor families all suffer, 
but some suffer more than others. 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 poorest of the poor. 
www.excellup.com ©2009 send your queries to enquiry@excellup.com
Page 4


Finish Line & Beyond
Social Science Class 9
th
 
Poverty as a Challenge
Social exclusion
Vulnerability
Poverty Line
Poverty Estimates
Vulnerable Groups
Inter-State Disparities
Global Poverty Scenario
Causes of Poverty
Anti-Poverty Measures
www.excellup.com ©2009 send your queries to enquiry@excellup.com
Finish Line & Beyond
Introduction
In our daily life, we come across many people who we think are poor. They could be 
landless labourers in villages or people living in overcrowded jhuggis in cities. They 
could be daily wage workers at construction sites or child workers in dhabas. Roughly 
260 million (or 26 crore) people in India live in poverty. India has the largest single 
concentration of the poor in the world. This illustrates the seriousness of the 
challenge.
Following issues are related to poverty:
• Landlessness
• Unemployment
• Size of families
• Illiteracy
• Poor health/malnutrition
• Child labour
• Helplessness
Poverty as seen by social scientists
Since poverty has many facets, social scientists look at it through a variety of 
indicators. Usually the indicators used relate to the levels of income and 
consumption. But now poverty is looked through other social indicators like illiteracy 
level, lack of general resistance due to malnutrition, lack of 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
According to this concept, poverty must be seen in terms of the poor having to live 
only in a poor surrounding with other poor people, excluded from enjoying social 
equality of better -off people in better surroundings. Social exclusion can be both a 
cause as well as a consequence of poverty in the usual sense. Broadly, it is a process 
through which individuals or groups are excluded from facilities, benefits and 
opportunities that others (their “betters”) enjoy. 
Vulnerability
Vulnerability to poverty is a measure, which describes the greater probability of 
certain communities (say, members of a backward caste) or individuals (such as a 
widow or a physically handicapped person) of becoming, or remaining, poor in the 
coming years. Vulnerability is determined by the options available to different 
communities for finding an alternative living in terms of assets, education, health 
and job opportunities. Further, it is analysed on the basis of the greater risks these 
groups face at the time of natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunami), terrorism etc. In 
fact, vulnerability describes the greater probability of being more adversely affected 
www.excellup.com ©2009 send your queries to enquiry@excellup.com
Finish Line & Beyond
than other people when 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 the 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 fulfill basic needs. What is necessary to 
satisfy basic needs is different at different times and in different countries. 
Therefore, 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.  While determining the poverty line in India, a 
minimum level of food requirement, clothing, footwear, fuel and light, educational 
and medical requirement etc. are determined for subsistence. The accepted average 
calorie requirement in India is 2400 calories per person per day in rural areas and 
2100 calories per person per day in urban areas. However, for making comparisons 
between developing countries, many international organisations like the World Bank 
use a uniform standard for the poverty line: minimum availability of the equivalent of 
$1 per person per day.
Poverty Estimates
There is substantial decline in poverty ratios in India from about 55 per cent in 1973 
to 36 per cent in 1993. The proportion of people below poverty line further came 
down to about 26 per cent in 2000. If the trend continues, people below poverty line 
may come down to less than 20 per cent in the next few years. Although the 
percentage of people living under poverty declined in the earlier two decades (1973– 
1993), the number of poor remained stable around 320 million for a fairly long 
period. The latest estimates indicate a significant reduction in the number of poor to 
about 260 million.
Vulnerable Groups
The proportion of people below poverty line is also not same for all social groups and 
economic categories in India. Social groups which are most vulnerable to poverty are 
scheduled caste and scheduled tribe households. Similarly, among the economic 
groups, the most vulnerable groups are the rural agricultural labour households and 
the urban casual labour households.  51 out of 100 people belonging to scheduled 
tribes are not able to meet their basic needs. Similarly, 50 per cent of casual workers 
in urban areas are below poverty line. About 50 per cent of landless agricultural 
workers and 43 per cent of scheduled castes are also poor.  Apart from these social 
groups, there is also inequality of incomes within a family. In poor families all suffer, 
but some suffer more than others. 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 poorest of the poor. 
www.excellup.com ©2009 send your queries to enquiry@excellup.com
Finish Line & Beyond
Inter-State Disparities
Poverty in India also has another aspect or dimension. Recent estimates show that in 
20 states and union territories, the poverty ratio is less than the national average. 
On the other hand, poverty is still a serious problem in Orissa, Bihar, Assam, Tripura 
and Uttar Pradesh.  Orissa and Bihar continue to be the two poorest states with 
poverty ratios of 47 and 43 per cent respectively. Along with rural poverty urban 
poverty is also high in Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. In 
comparison, there has been a significant decline in poverty in Kerala, Jammu and 
Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, TamilNadu, Gujarat and West Bengal. States like Punjab 
and Haryana have traditionally succeeded in reducing poverty with the help of high 
agricultural growth rates. Kerala has focused more on human resource development. 
In West Bengal, land reform measures have helped in reducing poverty. In Andhra 
Pradesh and Tamil Nadu public distribution of food grains could have been 
responsible for the improvement.
Global Poverty Scenario
The proportion of people in developing countries living in extreme economic poverty
— defined by the World Bank as living on less than $1 per day—has fallen from 28 
per cent in 1990 to 21 per cent in 2001. Although there has been a substantial 
reduction in global poverty, it is marked with great regional differences. Poverty 
declined substantially in China and Southeast Asian countries as a result of rapid 
economic growth and massive investments in human resource development. Number 
of poors in China has come down from 606 million in 1981 to 212 million in 2001. In 
the countries of South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan) 
the decline has not been as rapid. Despite decline in the percentage of the poor, the 
number of poor has declined marginally from 475 million in 1981 to 428 million in 
2001. Because of different poverty line definition, poverty in India is also shown 
higher than the national estimates. In Sub-Saharan Africa, poverty in fact rose from 
41 per cent in 1981 to 46 per cent in 2001. The Millennium Development Goals of 
the United Nations calls for reducing the proportion of people living on less than $1 a 
day to half the 1990 level by 2015.
Causes of Poverty
1. Less job opportunity & low growth rate of incomes.
2. High growth rate of population.
3. Huge income inequalities.
4. Unequal distribution of land & other resources.
5. Lack of proper implementation of policy
Anti-Poverty Measures
Removal of poverty has been one of the major objectives of Indian developmental 
strategy. The current anti-poverty strategy of the government is based broadly on 
two planks 
www.excellup.com ©2009 send your queries to enquiry@excellup.com
Page 5


Finish Line & Beyond
Social Science Class 9
th
 
Poverty as a Challenge
Social exclusion
Vulnerability
Poverty Line
Poverty Estimates
Vulnerable Groups
Inter-State Disparities
Global Poverty Scenario
Causes of Poverty
Anti-Poverty Measures
www.excellup.com ©2009 send your queries to enquiry@excellup.com
Finish Line & Beyond
Introduction
In our daily life, we come across many people who we think are poor. They could be 
landless labourers in villages or people living in overcrowded jhuggis in cities. They 
could be daily wage workers at construction sites or child workers in dhabas. Roughly 
260 million (or 26 crore) people in India live in poverty. India has the largest single 
concentration of the poor in the world. This illustrates the seriousness of the 
challenge.
Following issues are related to poverty:
• Landlessness
• Unemployment
• Size of families
• Illiteracy
• Poor health/malnutrition
• Child labour
• Helplessness
Poverty as seen by social scientists
Since poverty has many facets, social scientists look at it through a variety of 
indicators. Usually the indicators used relate to the levels of income and 
consumption. But now poverty is looked through other social indicators like illiteracy 
level, lack of general resistance due to malnutrition, lack of 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
According to this concept, poverty must be seen in terms of the poor having to live 
only in a poor surrounding with other poor people, excluded from enjoying social 
equality of better -off people in better surroundings. Social exclusion can be both a 
cause as well as a consequence of poverty in the usual sense. Broadly, it is a process 
through which individuals or groups are excluded from facilities, benefits and 
opportunities that others (their “betters”) enjoy. 
Vulnerability
Vulnerability to poverty is a measure, which describes the greater probability of 
certain communities (say, members of a backward caste) or individuals (such as a 
widow or a physically handicapped person) of becoming, or remaining, poor in the 
coming years. Vulnerability is determined by the options available to different 
communities for finding an alternative living in terms of assets, education, health 
and job opportunities. Further, it is analysed on the basis of the greater risks these 
groups face at the time of natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunami), terrorism etc. In 
fact, vulnerability describes the greater probability of being more adversely affected 
www.excellup.com ©2009 send your queries to enquiry@excellup.com
Finish Line & Beyond
than other people when 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 the 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 fulfill basic needs. What is necessary to 
satisfy basic needs is different at different times and in different countries. 
Therefore, 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.  While determining the poverty line in India, a 
minimum level of food requirement, clothing, footwear, fuel and light, educational 
and medical requirement etc. are determined for subsistence. The accepted average 
calorie requirement in India is 2400 calories per person per day in rural areas and 
2100 calories per person per day in urban areas. However, for making comparisons 
between developing countries, many international organisations like the World Bank 
use a uniform standard for the poverty line: minimum availability of the equivalent of 
$1 per person per day.
Poverty Estimates
There is substantial decline in poverty ratios in India from about 55 per cent in 1973 
to 36 per cent in 1993. The proportion of people below poverty line further came 
down to about 26 per cent in 2000. If the trend continues, people below poverty line 
may come down to less than 20 per cent in the next few years. Although the 
percentage of people living under poverty declined in the earlier two decades (1973– 
1993), the number of poor remained stable around 320 million for a fairly long 
period. The latest estimates indicate a significant reduction in the number of poor to 
about 260 million.
Vulnerable Groups
The proportion of people below poverty line is also not same for all social groups and 
economic categories in India. Social groups which are most vulnerable to poverty are 
scheduled caste and scheduled tribe households. Similarly, among the economic 
groups, the most vulnerable groups are the rural agricultural labour households and 
the urban casual labour households.  51 out of 100 people belonging to scheduled 
tribes are not able to meet their basic needs. Similarly, 50 per cent of casual workers 
in urban areas are below poverty line. About 50 per cent of landless agricultural 
workers and 43 per cent of scheduled castes are also poor.  Apart from these social 
groups, there is also inequality of incomes within a family. In poor families all suffer, 
but some suffer more than others. 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 poorest of the poor. 
www.excellup.com ©2009 send your queries to enquiry@excellup.com
Finish Line & Beyond
Inter-State Disparities
Poverty in India also has another aspect or dimension. Recent estimates show that in 
20 states and union territories, the poverty ratio is less than the national average. 
On the other hand, poverty is still a serious problem in Orissa, Bihar, Assam, Tripura 
and Uttar Pradesh.  Orissa and Bihar continue to be the two poorest states with 
poverty ratios of 47 and 43 per cent respectively. Along with rural poverty urban 
poverty is also high in Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. In 
comparison, there has been a significant decline in poverty in Kerala, Jammu and 
Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, TamilNadu, Gujarat and West Bengal. States like Punjab 
and Haryana have traditionally succeeded in reducing poverty with the help of high 
agricultural growth rates. Kerala has focused more on human resource development. 
In West Bengal, land reform measures have helped in reducing poverty. In Andhra 
Pradesh and Tamil Nadu public distribution of food grains could have been 
responsible for the improvement.
Global Poverty Scenario
The proportion of people in developing countries living in extreme economic poverty
— defined by the World Bank as living on less than $1 per day—has fallen from 28 
per cent in 1990 to 21 per cent in 2001. Although there has been a substantial 
reduction in global poverty, it is marked with great regional differences. Poverty 
declined substantially in China and Southeast Asian countries as a result of rapid 
economic growth and massive investments in human resource development. Number 
of poors in China has come down from 606 million in 1981 to 212 million in 2001. In 
the countries of South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan) 
the decline has not been as rapid. Despite decline in the percentage of the poor, the 
number of poor has declined marginally from 475 million in 1981 to 428 million in 
2001. Because of different poverty line definition, poverty in India is also shown 
higher than the national estimates. In Sub-Saharan Africa, poverty in fact rose from 
41 per cent in 1981 to 46 per cent in 2001. The Millennium Development Goals of 
the United Nations calls for reducing the proportion of people living on less than $1 a 
day to half the 1990 level by 2015.
Causes of Poverty
1. Less job opportunity & low growth rate of incomes.
2. High growth rate of population.
3. Huge income inequalities.
4. Unequal distribution of land & other resources.
5. Lack of proper implementation of policy
Anti-Poverty Measures
Removal of poverty has been one of the major objectives of Indian developmental 
strategy. The current anti-poverty strategy of the government is based broadly on 
two planks 
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Finish Line & Beyond
(1) promotion of economic growth 
(2) targeted anti-poverty programmes. 
Although there are so many schemes which are formulated to affect poverty directly 
or indirectly, some of them are worth mentioning. 
National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) 2005
was passed in September 2005. The Act provides 100 days assured employment 
every year to every rural household in 200 districts. Later, the scheme will be 
extended to 600 districts. One third of the proposed jobs would be reserved for 
women. The central government will also establish National Employment Guarantee 
Funds. Similarly state governments will establish State Employment Guarantee 
Funds for implementation of the scheme. Under the programme if an applicant is not 
provided employment within fifteen days s/he will be entitled to a daily 
unemployment allowance.
 
National Food for Work Programme(NFWP), 
was launched in 2004 in 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 foodgrains are provided free of cost to the states. Once the NREGA is in 
force, the NFWP will be subsumed within this programme.
Prime Minister Rozgar Yozana (PMRY)
was started in 1993. The aim of the programme is to create self employment 
opportunities for educated unemployed youth in rural areas and small towns. They 
are helped in setting up small business and industries.
Rural Employment Generation Programme(REGP) 
was launched in 1995. The aim of the programme is to create selfemployment 
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) 
was launched in 1999. The programme aims at bringing the assisted poor families 
above the poverty line by organising them into self help groups through a mix of 
bank credit and government subsidy. 
Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yozana (PMGY)
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.  
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