When you go to the temple to give your gratitude to god for your healthy and wealthy life, there are simultaneously numbers of people sitting outside that temple longing for all the things you are grateful about. Yes, you guessed it right – That lady on wheel chair with an empty bowl, That skinny boy with dreamy eyes, That shoe polish vendor with nought consumers, That old man with Broken legs and empty stomach and the list continues – everyday we come across number of such people, sometimes we feel pity about them, whereas sometimes we choose to ignore them – though both are wrong ways of dealing with poverty driven people. We see poverty everyday but we choose to ignore or feel pity about it, instead if we will think of removing it, we will grow much higher as a human and collectively as a society. The goal of removing poverty from society is what the initial goal among the 17 sustainable development goals talks about.
Poverty is not just a state of being poor, but it is the whole drastic situation which deprives a particular population from some basic living resources and facilities eventually leading them with lack of social security, lack of education, lack of equality, lack of healthy and hygienic life and various other such resources which are basic for life. To eradicate this vulnerable situation of poverty, in the year 2015, the SDG came up with the phenomenon goal of “NO POVERTY” which states to remove “poverty in all its forms from everywhere “. It’s objective includes ensuring that the entire population especially the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable gets equal rights to economic resources, access to basic services, property and land control, natural resources and new technologies. Though, eradicating poverty from everywhere is a challenging objective but it is on the same way a global responsibility for sustainable growth. In the year 2015, 736 million people lived on less than US $1.90 a day, but to this date millions have been lifted out of poverty as the fruit of immense hard work . According to United Nations development program (UNDP), India lifted 271 million people out of poverty in a 10 year time period from 2005 to 2015. But the growth was unevenly scattered, women are more likely to be poor than men because of unequal pay jobs, own less property and uneven education. Also , the share of World’s workers living in extreme poverty fell by half over the last decade, from 14.3 % in 2010 to 7.1 % in 2019. All these are the growth aspects of the objective but the Covid 19 pandemic scenario have immensely affected the poverty status and have really backed up the growth to a certain level, even before Covid 19, baseline projections suggested that 6 percent of the global population would still be living in extreme poverty. The fallout from the pandemic threatens to push over 70 million people into extreme poverty. According to UNDP income losses are expected to increase by $ 220 billion in developing countries and around 55 Percent of the global population have no access to social protection . To provide a helping hand to the poorest of the poor and most affected ones, the UN has issued a framework to ensure that people from everywhere have access to essential services and social protection, the UN COVID 19 response and recovery fund have aimed to help the low and middle income countries as well as vulnerable groups.
India in this poverty scenario since 2015 have recovered a lot and thus it deserves a hand of applause and required appraisal, let’s glance in brief the roadmap of India ‘s growth in eradicating poverty and let’s find out the strategies it used to overcome the issue .
In India, the poverty driven people usually come to metropolitan cities like Delhi , Bombay, Bangalore to find work but they end up doing odd jobs which just helps them to keep up in the city and live in mega slums which dominantly lacks clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene and in worst cases it lacks electricity too which further leads to hazardous diseases which eventually traps them under poverty cycle. Lack of education, child marriage, malnutrition, child labor, high infant mortality rates, HIV /AIDS are all results of poverty in India but no doubt the government since post independence is trying its best to eliminate poverty through its various policies and strategies, India’s poverty Alleviation Program are designed to improve the status in urban and dominantly rural areas of the country. Under this program, the government issued various schemes, the essence of which is discussed below –
JAWAHAR GRAM SAMRIDHI YOJANA – The objective of this program is to promote development in Rural areas and connect them with cities,ensuring employment.
NATIONAL FAMILY BENEFIT SCHEME(NFBS) – Under this scheme government provides ₹20,000 to the secondary head member of family of the death of primary or main head.
NATIONAL OLD AGE PENSION SCHEME (NOAPS) – This scheme provides the old age people aged above 60 with monthly pension of ₹200, which is now extended to ₹2,000.
NATIONAL MATERNITY BENEFITS SCHEME – This scheme provides a pregnant mother with the amount of ₹6000 in three installments.
ANNAPURNA -this scheme provides old age people who have no one to take care of them and who doesn’t come under NOAPS with free food in form of 10 kg of grains in month .
PRADAN MANTRI GRAMIN AWAAS YOJANA -Under this scheme government took initiative at creating housing for everyone ,this scheme was a great boost .
INTEGRATED RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM – Under this program, government took initiative to create self generated income in rural areas by provide various assets like subsidy, credits, assistance in all forms.
With all these policies and other efforts, India is fighting against poverty and have even seen the great results. According to the United Nations report India lifted 271 million people out of poverty between 2006 to 2016 recording the fastest reduction in the multidimensional poverty with improvements in areas like assets, sanitation and nutrition. According to the OPHI (Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative ) report, India was recognized as a country showing immense improvement towards SDG 1 along with various other countries like Bangladesh ,Vietnam and others. Jharkhand in India improved the fastest, it reduced the multidimensional poverty from 74.8 percent in 2005 -6 to 46.5 percent in 2015-16.
Eradicating poverty from everywhere in all its form is not an easy task but its not impossible, we globally have reached the certain level towards fulfilling this goal and with all the hopes we ‘ll surely overcome poverty and will create a global environment where life is easy for all and every individual enjoys prosperity. Till then, individually let’s help each other grow, let’s spread smile on the face of all those people you meet outside the temples by educating them towards employment and various schemes of government, let’s collect their blessings, let’s give them a gift of “hope “.