According to the PPP index of 2019 6.7% of Indians live under the poverty line which is just about 88 million people. 6.7 % might be a small number but 88 million surely isn’t, which is much more than the entire population of the United Kingdom. In the 1960s 40% of the rural population and about 50% of the Urban population lived under poverty. India might be one of the fastest-growing economies but surely we are leaving behind the fact that the rich are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer. The income inequality in society makes us spend money on luxuries while a major part of the population lives on the streets without enough resources to buy two square meals.
One of the main, if not the primary cause of poverty is overpopulation. Overpopulation has resulted in an increase in demand for daily necessities, like food, more land for building shelter, etc. As the demand for these basic commodities increase, the prices for them also go up. So for the people who were already poor, even the essentials become unaffordable.
Poverty is not a problem that can be resolved over a week or a year. It requires careful planning from the government to implement relevant policies that cater to the population falling below the poverty line. Another important factor affecting poverty is illiteracy and unemployment. This issue can be tackled with one stone, for instance, to provide education and financial support. Access to education, especially providing means to pursue higher education increases the employment opportunities for individuals. This directly helps to alleviate poverty as the individual can start earning. The government has implemented laws where people from different castes and schedules have reserved education rights. These laws were implemented to support minorities, which were denied opportunities in the past, but these laws have been exploited and there has been no evident increase in literacy rate with their help. Educational opportunities should be given to individuals who lack the resources to study. Education till class 12 should be free for every person but after these studies, the competitive exams should be equal for everyone. Only students who do not have a secure financial background should be given reserved rights in education.
All these problems are interrelated, people living under the poverty line often have the impression that having more children is the solution to earning more money but this is not the case. India never had a scarcity of resources but the population always increased at a rate where we just could not cope up with it. India is one of the fastest-growing economies, 18 people are escaping extreme poverty every minute but this is still not enough. Ours can be the first generation to escape extreme poverty and these numbers may look very good on paper but as a society, we have to realize our responsibility and make our nation free of poverty.