While addressing the Constituent Assembly in 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru had said, “This achievement of independence is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the great triumphs and achievements that await us… the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity”. In this statement Jawaharlal Nehru, the then prime minister recalled the future ambitions which will be pursued in upcoming policies but still we are struggling to get out of poverty, which is the prevailing problem of our country. Poverty is not only a challenge for India, as more than one-fifth of the world’s poor live in India, but for the world too.
As from the note, it is clear that poverty has been a challenge for India since independence but the problem arises when we try to define poverty because it depends on many factors other than income and assets like accessibility to education, employability, health care, drinking water, etc. So some questions can be put on like, what is poverty? How do we define it? What are the basic necessities of a human being? Is it limited to, as said, “Roti, kapda or Makan”..? and there are many more questions like these in front of us to be answered.
There is a saying, “Bhuke pet bhajan na hoye” which means till your hunger is not satisfied you can not go-ahead for other needs, the first thing every living being is surviving for is food and we are not different as human beings, for that sometimes we lose our morality and ethics which leads us to do crime to get the food and sometimes revolution to get our hunger satisfied.
To understand the conditions of the poor and what causes them to revolt and do crime first we have to understand poverty, its definition, and the identification of the poor in any region. So,
What is the definition of Poverty- Poverty can be categorized in different aspects but the basic definition is, Poverty is a state of deprivation, in absolute terms, it reflects the inability of an individual to satisfy certain basic needs for a sustained, healthy, and reasonably productive life, starvation and hunger are the key features of the poorest households. What will one do by seeing his/her children are hungry, they are ill, and not able to go to hospitals because of heavy expenditure on the treatment for which economic conditions not approve? Eg of the Naxalite areas, it is there because of the deprivation of these areas from the development of mainland areas some negative people give them money to attack armed personnel deployed there they are not criminals but their poverty makes them do it.
Another example can be taken from the freedom struggle that leads the freedom fighters, peasants, and poor to revolt against the Britishers it is the deprivation from the basics needs and destroying their income of source by flourishing market and their snatching away their livelihoods.
From the above example, it can be said that poverty leads to revolt and unintended crime just to get satisfied basic amenities. And to curtail these problems state should first identify who are poor..?
How to identify the poor- Poverty varies with regions and country-specific. Some people are not permanently poor…. it depends on their employability and income and some are permanently poor who are in a vicious cycle of poverty and their upcoming generation also poor. Poors are being subjected to three interrelated processes of declining capabilities which are-
Social capabilities– there is the problem of castism and social exclusion to some categories of people which deprived them of the development happening in the country. Our constitution has given reservations to the deprived sections but weak social ties and identity make them socially poor.
Education- education plays the biggest role in any development process. Because of illiteracy, there is a lack of awareness among the poor people about government schemes and the corruption happening around them. Skills that are needed to work in industrial areas are not enough to survive there.
Economic and environmental capabilities- economic condition gives one the freedom of choice and area with employment friendly needed to pursue a satisfying life. For earning bread sometimes the wrong path is chosen which give them high earning for little works like stone pelting in J &K.
Personal capabilities and health condition- Health is wealth but it is considered in other sense in regards to the poor as when they get ill they can not go for treatment as hospitals take a high fee to return their health. Poor health of the poor drags them towards more poverty.
Now the questions arise when the government identifies the poor what should be its approach and so far what has been done.
There are many policies from the onwards of the first five-year plan has been in existence but they are not able not to get rid of poverty like food self-sufficiency, employment opportunity by creating self-help groups in rural areas, MGNREGA for 100 days work in rural areas and there are many works done to improve the condition of MSME sectors which provide 1/ 3population employment and agriculture sector which has been given many stimulus packages, high variety seeds, electricity, and market linkages through mandies and better transport system, free primary healthcare and recently released policy PMJAY that is AYUSHMAN YOJNA for free secondary and tertiary levels but there is no use of this development and policies if they are reaching to the last mile people who are still in hope of freedom from deprivation and live the normal life and not want to be the reason of revolt and crimes.