Category: Education

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POVERTY IS a monumental crisis and the biggest challenge facing India today. It should be dealt at an emergency level, acclaimed Indo-American leader Rajan Zed said today. In a statement in Nevada (USA), Zed said although India is on track to become a global power, but her new prosperity has remained evasive for many. Despite economic miracles, many Indians still live in abject poverty. Inequalities in opportunities block poor people from participating in the growth process and they remain trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty. Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, argues that income gaps are widening fast in India, where about one third of world's poor live. Wealth distribution and growth have been uneven across various economic and social groups, urban and rural populations, and geographical regions. A large population of India works in the informal labor sector, with no steady jobs and no social security. The number of poor living on less than $1.25 a day has increased. It is blight on the country, which prides herself on having joined the league of hottest growth economies. Zed further said that problems like severe malnutrition; spiralling food prices; ineffectual government programmes ; lack of access to medical facilities, potable water, energy sources, sanitation; illiteracy; among others need to be immediately dealt with. Poverty has led to many other societal problems, which the country faces today. Basic inequalities need to be addressed if India wants all her people to be able to share the fruits of the growth.

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In India poverty line is measured or calculated considering the following factors required for subsistence: 1. Minimum level of food requirement, 2. Clothing 3. Footwear 4. Fuel and Light 5. Education and 6. Medical requirement etc. These physical quantities are multiplied by their prices. The present formula for food requirement is based on the desired calorie requirement. On the basis of these calculations in 1999 - 2000, the poverty line in the rural areas was fixed Rs.328 per capita per month and in urban areas, it was Rs.454. People earning more than this amount were considered above the poverty line and earning less than this amount were considered as living below the poverty line.

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There are various reasons for poverty in India which are outlined below - (1) Prolonged Colonial Administration The policies of British Colonial government shattered the Indian economy so much that it could not be revived until the 1980s. (2) Unabated Population Growth The failures to promote both the required economic growth and population control have been the main cause of poverty today. (3) Illiteracy Illiteracy is also an important cause of poverty in our country. (4) Disparity in the Ownership of Land-holdings The unequal distribution of land, lack of land resources and failure in the proper implementation of land reform policies have been the major causes of poverty in rural areas. (5) Unemployment Lack of job security and unemployment are other causes. (6) Widening Inequalities of Income This is a feature of high poverty. Money has been concentrating in fewer hands, thus rendering a majority of people poor. (7) Slow Growth of Employment Opportunities Despite the implementation of various employment generating programmes our government has failed to provide the necessary employment opportunities. (8) Socio-cultural Factors In order to fulfill social obligations such as marriage etc. and religious ceremonies people in India including the poor spend a lot of money which makes some people even poorer.

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Sustainable Projects The aim of Challenge Poverty Is to tackle poverty and disease by delivering credible, realistic and sustainable projects whilst being transparent and accountable Poverty: The Issue A global challenge Poverty, corruption and indifference claim over 30 million lives worldwide each year. Estimates vary, but we cannot escape the enormity of the problem What you can do Ways you can help We need help across the entire spectrum of giving...all the way from individuals, to corporations to strategic aid budgets...





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