Discuss the major reasons for poverty in India.
Major reasons for poverty in India
(i) Colonial rule: India went through a long phase of low economic development under the British colonial administration. The policies of the colonial government ruined traditional handicrafts and discouraged development of industries like textiles.
(ii) Low economic growth and high population growth: The Indian administration’s failure on the two fronts − promotion of economic growth and population control perpetuated the cycle of poverty.
(iii) Rural poverty: The effects of agricultural and rural development were limited to only certain parts of the country. As a result, while some parts of the country showed great progress in the rural sector, others continued in the shadow of poverty.
The presence of huge income inequalities is a major reason for the high poverty rates in the rural areas.
The government’s failure to properly implement major policy initiatives to tackle the issue of income inequalities has contributed to the continuance of poverty in villages.
(iv) Urban poverty: The jobs created by the industrial sector have not been enough to absorb all the job seekers. Unable to find proper jobs in cities, many people start working as rickshaw pullers, vendors, construction workers, domestic servants, etc. With irregular small incomes, these people cannot afford expensive housing. In consequence, they start living in slums. Thus, poverty (a largely rural phenomenon sometime back) has become a dominant feature of urban India as well.
(v) Socio-cultural factors: Various socio-cultural factors like caste and gender discrimination and social exclusion have contributed to the wider realm of human poverty.