Poverty in India– A Real Glimpse of Urban vs. Rural India

In the last 50 to 60 years, in spite of great many economic reforms and up downs, a large number of people all over India are still under tremendous poverty. To fight with this problem, continuous initiatives are taken, plans are made as well as committees are structured from the part of the government. At the same time, various non-governmental organizations are trying to find solutions on small scale. But till now, the improvement has been quite narrow. Governments are changed, plans are cancelled and new plans are passed. Yet a huge number of people stay unnoticed and their economic problems do not come to the forefront.

Indian Economy Is Masking Two Faces
While discussing about the poverty-inflicted Indian economy, one aspect must not be forgotten and that is almost 80 percent of Indian population are the residents of the village areas. That is to say, the rural parts of India have the maximum amount of poverty-stricken people. On the other hand, as it looks, the urban population is increasingly getting all the major opportunities and options for development. They are raising high in terms of economic solvency. Presently the scenario has come up to such a height that many social analysts are complaining that the Indian economy is now divided under two faces, economy for the solvents and the riches and the economy for the poor.

The Measure of Poverty
Of course, as it seems, none of the Governments totally accept the truth. There have been a number of methods to measure poverty. As they were used, the results that came out were also varied. Before 2005, the Government of India used to measure on the aspects of food security as well as the per capita expenditure for an individual in regards to consuming calories and according to the capability of paying for the essentials for the reason of survival. However, the most used process is the “Tendulkar method”. Other than that in the benchmarks set by the World Bank, the PPP model of 2005 made by the International Comparison program, all these came up with acceptable data that were more than enough to relate the reason for poverty with the current situation. Yet, the measures taken to battle the causes have shown very little results.

Economic Growth and Solvency among the Urban Population
The Indian economy is built on two major catalysts, the first being agriculture and the other, industry that include services. Though after independence, the government stressed more on agricultural development (the fruits of which we are still enjoying), the later governments came into realization that the larger population of the country can not reach economic success, if industrial growth is not there. From the mid 70’s different national industrial companies were given options to grow. In the mid 90’s the government also opened the door for the global industries. As they came into the Indian market, job opportunities began to grow.But this growth in the job sectors was not for the larger part of the country. As the manufacturing companies began to be more machine and less manpower based, less amount of people were required. At the same time, candidates with better qualification were given more chance. Now the problem is that proper and higher education was and still is out of reach for a large number of people all around the country and that is why the urban population, both middle class and the upper middle class began to get the jobs. Their proper upbringing, quality education in the reputed schools helped them to secure good jobs in the government sectors, MNCs and industries. The post 90sera saw a massive upheaval in economic solvency for the middle class until the recession. After recession situation was changed as there was less opportunities for earning. Yet, the middle and upper middle class carried on through various other means, business, outsourcing and part time jobs.

Dark Days in the Rural India, Which Is Yet to Be Changed
While the urban class was constantly rising into economic solvency, the people of the rural India were still under the darkness of poverty. Strangely, these are the people who are mostly engaged in the agricultural activities, making the people of the nation have their daily bread and rice. Yet they were treated year after year as uneducated vote banks. It was much later, in the post 80’s that WHO’s report made the ‘the then’ government to take steps forproper development process for the people. The basic requirements, roads, electricity, drinking water, for providing these minimum things into all the corners of the nation, the government took more than 30 years and still some part of rural India exist without such basic amenities.

The Quota System
It is a well-known fact that education is the base for economic solvency. While reputed schools were built on the cities, the rural schools had lack of teachers, proper infrastructure and services. As a result, the rural people fail to get the proper quality of education. When this problem came into forefront, the government started the quota system in the presumption that the students or candidates of the lower castes would have better opportunities rather than the ones of the general castes. But, this step broadened the gap between general caste and lower caste people.

Most educationists and socialists argue that this was another wrong step taken by the government, whereby it is giving rise to vote bank politics and disrespect for lower caste community. Government could have done things differently to benefit lower caste and poor people by making some arrangements where everyone who is deprived shall receive state support in education, medical facilities and accommodation. Had such arrangementsimplemented would benefit everyone regardless caste and harmony in society would have been intact.

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