What Is Poverty?
This is one of the most common problems faced by many economies in the world (irrespective of there development levels). It means, even developed countries suffer from this challenge. To help our country by doing our bit, we need to understand the concept of poverty first. It is the inability to fulfill the minimum requirements of life which include food, clothing, housing, education, clean drinking water, and health facilities.
Who Are Poor?
Another similar concept related to it is ‘Poor’. Poor can be anyone who cannot fulfill the basic requirements of life. In India, poor are divided based on area:
- Urban Poor: It includes poor people like pushcart vendors, street cobblers, door-to-door salesmen. According to calorie intake, they should have 2100 calories intake. These poor people are found in the urban areas, that is why they are called urban poor.
- Rural Poor: It includes poor people like landless agricultural laborers, beggars, etc. According to calorie intake, they should have a minimum of 2400 calorie intake. These poor people are found in the rural areas, that is why they are called rural poor.
There are two measures to determine the extent of poverty:
- Relative Poverty:
- It is the condition in which people lack the minimum amount of income to maintain the average standard of living in the society in which they live.
- This measure is used to make comparisons with others, that is, as compared to your society members are you relatively poor or not?
- It is also used to measure the inequalities of income within the country.
2. Absolute Poverty:
- It is the condition in which people are unable to meet the minimum consumption level.
- This measure is used to show the total number of people living ‘Below Poverty Line’.
- ‘Poverty Line’ refers to that line that expresses per capita average monthly expenditure incurred by the people to satisfy their minimum needs.
In India, the person who spends Rs 816 on consumption in rural areas and Rs 1000 in urban areas per month at 2011-12 prices are treated as ‘Below Poverty Line’. There are nearly 20% of the country’s population that is absolutely poor.
Note: Dadabhai Naoroji was the first to discuss the concept of a poverty line.
Check out the slideshow below on poverty: