Poverty in India



Food, water, and shelter have been defined as the basic needs of man. The modern list adds health, education, and sanitation to the 3 stated earlier. The inability to fulfil these basic requirements is termed as poverty. Poverty in India follows both income-based and consumption-based statistics.


Absolute poverty and Relative poverty are the types of poverty used for defining poverty. India, which is known as one of the fastest growing economies of the world, still struggles to eradicate poverty. The fact that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer is alarming. Let us learn about poverty in India, it’s causes, effects, and solutions.


“Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity, it is an act of justice.” – Nelson Mandela

“Poverty is the worst form of violence.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Poverty often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue, it is hard for an empty bag to stand upright.” – Benjamin Franklin

STATISTICS – What Numbers have to Say?

  • According to a survey conducted by the World Bank group, every 1 in 5 Indians is poor. 80% of these poor reside in villages and rural areas.
  • The Union Cabinet defines a household to be below poverty line (BPL) if the annual income of the household is less than Rs. 27,000. People earning more than Rs. 27,000 annually are excluded from the BPL list.


  • Poverty in India shows a trend based on caste and religion. Poverty is highest among the Scheduled Tribes (ST) followed by the Scheduled Castes (SC).
  • According to the Multidimensional Poverty Index 2018, the number of poor people in India has reduced by 271 million in the past 10 years.
  • Poverty in India is on a decline, people living in extreme poverty is reducing gradually. The World Poverty Clock predicts that less than 3% of the total population of India will live in extreme poverty by 2021.

DESCRIPTION – Let’s take a Deep Dive


  • The exponentially growing population stands the main cause behind most of the major problems faced by the country. This increasing population has further led to unemployment and lower per capita income.
  • Illiteracy makes people take up labor jobs or jobs based on daily wages. Unskilled workers get paid very low compared to the amount of physical work done for the whole day.
  • The ever-increasing price of basic commodities makes it difficult for people below the poverty line to afford survival.


  • The Indian economy is underdeveloped due to the low rate of growth. The net national income is low compared to the population as the economy is rural economy and agricultural income is insufficient.
  • The growth of the economy is also obstructed by social factors like caste system, inheritance and succession, and other outdated traditions.
  • The subsidies provided by the government do not reach the needy because of corruption. Corruption stands a great barrier to the eradication of poverty.

poverty in india CAUSES


  • Lack of financial stability leads to improper healthcare and high infant mortality rate.
  • Child labor emerges as a result of poverty. Poor families don’t tend to enroll their children into school, instead, they send them out to work and earn money to support the family.


  • Malnutrition, physical and mental disabilities, diseases related to deficiencies in the diet are also the effects of poverty.
  • Illiteracy leads to lack of awareness.
  • Unemployment raises levels of crime and in extreme poverty, cases of domestic violence are predominant.



  • India being an agricultural country, the disguised unemployment in agriculture should be removed. Rural economy if strengthened will help in reducing poverty.
  • Stability in pricing will make the basic amenities affordable for everyone.
  • Skilled labor programs initiated by the government increase the rate of employability.


  • Drinking water, sanitation, and education should be made available and awareness regarding the same should be created among people.
  • Proper industrialization in regionally poor areas will create greater opportunities and reduce inequality.
  • The UN has taken up goals for sustainable development and eradication of poverty and hunger, famously known as the Agenda 2030.


India has been tagged as a very consistent ‘developing nation’ and this difference between developing and developed will be achieved only when problems like poverty and hunger will be eradicated. Increase economic growth rate will help in providing infrastructure and facilities also generating employment.

Government schemes can only be implemented successfully when financially stable people stop misusing the ‘Economically Backward Certificate’ and the subsidies actually reach the needy.


Author – Mitali Shingne

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  1. India uses measure of absolute poverty to count and eradicate poverty,but instead it should use relative poverty measure so that income inequality gets reduced.And further difference of income between richer and poor class can get stabilised.

  2. Poverty is bip stone in growth of india.India need to start many good programmes to eradicate poverty.Bip reason of poverty is corrupt mnrega basic pay given is 270 per day but it become 150 when reached to rural areas people.

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