The deprivation of the basic necessities of life viz. food, clothing, shelter, hygienic drinking water, medical amenities and toilets is identified as poverty. It is a state of deficiency of the fundamental essentials for living. The addition of ignorance and humiliation by the upper class has made the lives of the impoverished even more miserable. The following are few of the numerous factors adding to the poverty in the world and serving as the primary cause for increased number of people living below the poverty line.
Lack of Success in Agriculture
Agriculture is one of the major occupations of all the developing countries and the state of this genre of livelihood is well known to everyone. If the sector which constitutes around 58% of the population in India is grief stricken, the development of the country can be well judged. The paucity of regular supply of water, frequent droughts, over dependence on monsoon and its unpredictability, scarcity of funds for buying high quality seeds, lack of markets for agricultural produce, inadequate storage facilities have not just added to poverty but have also led to skyrocketing suicide rates among farmers.
Success of agriculture depends on various factors like connectivity to roads, productivity, infrastructure, training given to farmers, providing hi-yielding crops, markets, government programs etc. Government should accelerate the launch of initiatives and programs for assisting this sector and thereby reducing poverty. The recent budget has promised to double the income of farmers in the next 5 years.
Humanitarian Response to Emergencies
Natural Disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, tsunamis, droughts, landslides etc. uproot lives in the blink of an eye. They ruin livelihoods, businesses and lead to an increase in the number of people living below poverty line in a matter of minutes. The low income groups lack disaster response planning which further aggravates the situation. Fragile infrastructure, decaying buildings, perilous rural livelihoods, rapid population growth and poor governance worsens and increases the after effects of natural disasters.
Not just this, the lack of support offered by the public in the state of emergencies is another reason of poverty. The scarcity of rescue teams, dearth of volunteers, deficiency of supplies for the grief stricken and improper disaster preparedness disrupts lives and put people in the state of utter misery and poverty. Various Non-Governmental Organisations like Action Aid India provide relief to the numerous people affected by natural calamities. They rush to help and support when disasters strike. Various initiatives by the government also help monitor hazards, assess vulnerabilities and create awareness for disaster preparedness.
Failure in Leadership
Leaders play an important role in our lives, be it, in a workplace, state, country or world. Bad leadership has not just reduced the growth rate and GDP of countries but has also increased poverty and suffering. The governmental policies affect everyone and if they are not suiting the needs of the less fortunate, it turns out to be more disastrous than natural calamities. The poor get most affected by these wrong activities and misguided actions viz. inflation, corruption, hoarding of necessities etc.
African economy is a perfect example of inept leadership and mismanagement leading to increase in poverty and distress in the continent. The naturally wealthy region is still suffering and is under developed due to lack of amenities and increased corruption. Also, untrained leadership during the natural disasters has caused much sorrow and grief. It should be made sure that one in every 10 persons should be competent and well versed with evacuation techniques, disaster prevention activities and safety drills.
Low and inconsistent income is one of the direct and major reasons of poverty in developing countries. Due to over-population, the most prized resource of any country, human resource, is not given due importance. Due to the massive availability of this resource, minimum wages are offered which do no justice to the labour intensive and laborious jobs they perform. The low income jobs do not offer any prospect of progression and are highly unpredictable, so the likelihood of rising above the poverty level are minimised. They work hard to sustain and are left with little to no opportunities to grow. There have been various initiatives by the government to elevate poverty by increasing the daily wage rates, imparting vocational courses and growing number of vacancies in the market, but the ever rising population has rendered it only with miniscule benefits.
Lack of education inevitably leads to poverty. The ignorant look only at the bright side, ‘more hands to earn, more income for the household’. They forget the fact, it also brings with it, more mouths to feed. Illiteracy and unawareness stoops them in deep pits of financial distress and poverty. Illiteracy leads to unemployment which further deepens the depths of poverty.
Various measures by the government to provide free & compulsory education and campaigns that encourage smaller families have slowed the population growth rate but a lot has to be done to bring noteworthy results. Forbidding child labour, free and compulsory education for all, praudh shiksha abhiyan, providing mid-day meals, uniforms and textbooks have all been numerous steps taken by the government to educate people of every age group. Various NGOs such as Action Aid India provide education to the poor for free and offers varied options to the affluent to volunteer for this noble cause and sponsor children in need.
There are many more reasons that contribute to poverty and millions living below the poverty line in our country and the world. But, one should look for the solutions rather than focussing on the problems and make an effort for the advancement of the fellow humans. Let us pledge to do our best in eradicating poverty from the world and join organisations like Action Aid India in this noble cause.