Saturday, March 17, 2012

Belinda's Journal-Poverty in India

I chose to research poverty in India.. With an estimated 1.03 billion citizens in 2001, India's population is second only to China's.1 With 260.2 million people living in poverty as of 1999-20002, India is home to the majority of poor people in South Asia, and deprivation is endemic, especially in rural areas. There are also substantial differences in the extent and severity of poverty, both between and within states. Though a group of northern and eastern states have the highest rates of poverty, in most states there are 'high' as well as 'low' poverty regions. Rural poverty is strongly associated with lack of access to assets, skills, and low levels of health and education, which limit people's possibilities of benefiting from economic growth.

Between 1973 and 2000, the percentage of the population below the poverty line declined continuously from 54.9 percent to an estimated 26 per cent. Rural poverty reportedly declined from 56.4 per cent to 27.1 per cent during the same period.3  However, the pace of reduction in poverty varied considerably during this period; a reported 10 per cent decline in poverty in the second half of the 1990s is particularly contentious. At the same time, the numbers of people below the poverty line fluctuated substantially, increasing by 13 million during the early 1990s and reportedly decreasing by a massive 60 million during the mid to late 1990s.

There are an estimate of about 400 million of the population are between 0-18 years.  Many of the Indian children are living hard lives. Almost half of the children under the age of five are malnourished and 34 percent of new-borns are significantly underweight. India accounts for over 20% of the world's out of school children. Most of the children in India that are under the age of 16 are working to help provide for their families. India's anti poverty programmes are mainly run by the central government. There are three main types - rural employment creation and infrastructure development programmes; self-employment; and food subsidy programmes. All three have been subject to reform in recent years to ensure better targeting and coverage. The largest food subsidy programme is the Public Distribution System, which is explicitly targeted towards the poor.

there are programmes implemented by the state government for the welfare of marginalised groups such as scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes. In addition, there are Special Area Programs that look after the growing needs and aspirations of people in disadvantaged areas.

The insights that I gained from this research is that children under the age of 16 are working to provide for their familes; India accounts for 20% of the world's out of school children because of poverty. Finally, India's anti poverty programmes are mainly run by the central government. I am touched that children of India are not receiving education because of having to work to help support their families; children should have the right to an education.


Childhood Poverty Research and Policy Centre’s page retrieved from

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