The situation where one is unable to fulfil the minimum requirements of life such as food, clothing, housing, education, and health facilities is referred to as poverty.
After reading our post ‘Essay on Poverty’ you will be able to understand the meaning of poverty, the causes of poverty and how to deal with it.
Essay on Poverty
Poverty is the inability to secure the minimum human needs of food, clothing, housing, education, and health. When a person is unable to fulfil these basic needs, it leads to pain and distress.
Poverty can be categorized in many ways. In one of the methods of categorizing poverty, the people who always remained poor or are usually poor but sometimes have a little more money are grouped together and are known as chronic poor. The people who are rich most of the time but sometimes become poor are known as occasionally poor. The people who are never poor are called the non-poor. They can be categorized as not-so-poor, middle-class, upper-middle-class, rich, very rich, millionaires, and billionaires.
The problem of poverty can be solved by accelerating the pace of economic growth. A higher growth rate creates new employment and income-earning opportunities. Efforts should be made to incorporate new and modern techniques of production so as to improve productivity and production. Similarly, mechanization should be followed in the agriculture sector so as to improve production. An increase in production would lead to higher income and thereby, help eradicate poverty.
In addition to rapid economic growth, it is necessary to ensure that the increased income does not remain concentrated in a few hands. In other words, to remove poverty it is necessary to remove the inequality of income and wealth. This can be achieved by means of legislative and fiscal measures. Legislative measures include such measures as the Minimum Wages Act, Minimum Support Price, Right to Education, etc. Such measures raise the income earning capacity of people and improve their standard of living.
On the other hand, fiscal measures comprise taxation and subsidy measures of the government. A high rate of taxes can be levied on the high-income group while the poor are granted subsidies. In this sense, the purchasing power is transferred from the rich to the poor. Similarly, pensions, scholarships, grants, etc. can be granted to the poor. Both the legislative as well as fiscal measures are aimed at encouraging an egalitarian society and reducing poverty.
A high population growth rate offsets the benefits of a high economic growth rate. Even when the level of national income is high, the per capita income will remain low if the population growth rate is high. Thus, to combat poverty, it becomes necessary to control the population growth rate.
People should be made aware of the benefits of a small family and different family control measures. Another measure of controlling the population is encouraging female education and employment. Stress should also be laid on other similar measures such as education, research in the field of family planning, and population control.
Poor are worse hit by the rising prices. Rising prices reduce purchasing power and make it difficult for the poor to purchase even the basic necessities. To reduce poverty steps must be taken to ensure stability in the prices. A two-fold methodology can be adopted for price stability. First, by increasing the production of goods and services, and second, by distributing the essential goods to the poor through fair price shops and ration shops.
Unemployment is one of the major causes of poverty. Steps must be taken to eradicate unemployment. India is a labour-abundant country, and one of the measures to increase employment can be to adopt labour-intensive techniques of production. Similarly, to absorb the labour in rural areas cottage and small-scale industries must be encouraged.
Self-employment must be encouraged in both rural areas and urban areas. Self-employed persons should be provided with such facilities as credit, marketing, transportation, technical training, etc. Besides, to improve employment in the country, it is necessary to make the education system more job-oriented, so that people have the practical knowledge and skill required for gainful employment. A reduction in unemployment through these measures will help in the reduction of poverty.
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