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Kerala Plus One Economics Notes Chapter 4 Poverty
Poverty and Poverty Line
Poverty is a multi-dimensional concept. It is defined as a situation in which a section of society is unable to fulfill even the basic necessities of life or deprived of basic necessities of life. Poverty is measured on the basis of the poverty line. One way is to determine it by the monetary value (per capita expenditure) of the minimum calorie intake that was estimated at 2,400 calories for a rural person and 2,100 for a person in the urban area.
Causes of Poverty
Important causes of poverty in India are:
- Low income
- Lack of assets
- Population explosion
- Undesirable economic growth
- Absence of industrialisation.
Poverty Eradication Programmes
Poverty eradication programmes in India are classified as follows:
Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP): The IRDP was introduced in 2nd October 1980. This programme has been renamed as
Swarnajayanthi Grama Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY) from 1st April 1999. The SGSY is a very holistic programme compared to IRDP. SGSY is developed by merging various programmes such as TRYSEM (Training of Rural Youth for Self-employment), DWCRA (Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas), GKY (Ganga Kalyan Yojana), MSW (Million Well Scheme), and SITRA (Supply of Improved Tool Kits to Rural Artisans). It forms SHG’s (Self-Help Groups) of poor people and formulates self-employment programmes under their leadership. It includes development of infrastructure, technology, credit and marketing managements, etc. Unlike other programmes, the priority of the employment programme can be fixed by the beneficiaries.
Wage Employment Programmes
1. National Rural Emptoyment Programme (NREP): NREP was the new name given to Food for Work Programme. It was launched in 1980 as a centrally sponsored scheme with state and central governments sharing equal amounts. The aim of this programmer the development of community assets like drinking water wells, irrigation wells, rural roads, schools, etc.
2. The Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP): This programme was launched on 15th August 1983 to supplement NREP. This is a centrally sponsored scheme with 100 percent fund by the union government.
3. Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY) and Nehru Rozgar Yojana (NRY): NREP and the RLEGP were merged and renamed into a single rural employment programme known as Jawahar Rozgar Yojana. JRY came into effect from 1st April 1999. The aim of the programme was to provide gainful employment for unemployed rural areas. The urban version of JRY is known as Nehru Rozgar Yojana (NRY).
4. The Million Well Scheme (MWS) was to provide open irrigation well, free of cost, to poor small and marginal farmers belonging to SC/ST category.
5. Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) was introduced for providing houses, free of cost to SC/ST families. Now this facility is extended to other poor families too.
6. Pradan Manthri Gramodaya Yojana: Gramin Awas (PMRY)
The PMRY: GAwas launched on 1st April, 2000. The programme aims at providing the housing needs of the rural people.
7. National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP) 2005: In August 2005, the Parliament has passed a new Act known as National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005. The act provides guaranteed wage employment to every household whose adult volunteer is to do unskilled manual work for a minimum of 100 days in a year. Thj act came into force from 2nd February 2006 and implemented in India’s 200 most backward districts. Later on it was extended to all over the country in two phases. The programme was later on renamed as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (MGNREGP) or commonly called Employment Assurance Scheme.
Social Security Programmes: There are not many programmes for the social security of the poor. However, there are some centrally sponsored schemes. They are as follows:
- Old-age pension for the elderly who are without support.
- Financial support in the event of the death of the breadwinner.
- Support for women of poor households on pregnancy.
Food Security Programmes: It is essential to ensure food security to the masses. As we know, though there js sufficient production of food grains, millions of people are starving in the country. The problem is mainly of distribution. To overcome these several measures are taken by the government. They are as follows:
1. Public distribution system (PDS): Foodgrains are made available at cheaper prices and distributed through Fair Price Shops, ration shops, Maveli Stores, Neethi Stores etc.
2. Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS): The TPDS initiated in June 1997 aims at ensuring the availability of food grains to BPL families.
3. Integrated Child Development Schemes (ICDS): A nutrition programme meant for children below 6 years of age, pregnant and lactating women.
4. Mid-day Meal at School: Mid-day Meal at School is in operation in several states. The programme was launched in all India level on 15th August 1995.
5. Annapurna Scheme: This programme was commenced from 2000-01. Poor old people who are not getting old-age pensions are covered under this scheme.
6. Antyodaya Anna Yojana: This scheme is launched for the poorest of the poor. Under this scheme, food grains are made available to very poor families at a highly subsidised price.