Introduction should define poverty in the line of World Bank and link it to the existing poverty in India and its recent future prospects.
Further the main body should discuss about the changing dynamics of Indian poverty in recent years. Points like, changing income level, rapid economic growth, increasing capabilities to invest and overall the changing mindset of people towards economic opportunities etc. will be helpful.
Next, talk about why do poors in India fail to take advantage of the opportunities. Points like weak empowerment institutions, short term measures like freebies to attract voters, lack of will among politicians, divide and rule policy of politicians on cast and religion, huge presence of inequality, lack of understanding about the nature of poverty etc.
Next, mention what should we do and bring the conclusion based on the points of main part.
The World Bank defines a person as extremely poor if she is living on less than 1.90 dollars a day, which are adjusted for inflation as well as price differences between countries. India is perhaps no longer home to the highest number of people living in extreme poverty. Researchers at Brookings Institution predict that the Indian number is expected to drop to around 20 million over the next four years. But with the changing character of Indian economy and society, its imperative to vision a new approach for poverty reduction in India.
Changing dynamics of Indian poverty:
- China began to score massive wins against extreme poverty at the turn of the century, when its per capita income in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) was around $4,000.
- It was thus very likely that India would see a similar result after it reached a similar average income level at the end of the previous decade.
- Scholars who have studied the Chinese success have no doubt that rapid economic growth has been the main reason why extreme poverty could be rolled back.
- But the centrality of economic expansion is often lost in the heated ideological debates in India.
- Indeed, a lack of income is a condition for an impoverished life, but income is instrumentally The capability approach concentrates on capabilities that are intrinsically important.
- In India, people are poor because they lack choices both economic and social, to take advantage of the opportunities in the new economy.
- They lack choices because they do not have basic freedoms and capabilities.
- Freedoms and capabilities are the basics for any fight against poverty.
- The freedoms through which people can empower themselves, the capabilities through which poor can take their decisions are: Freedom of Choice; Freedom of Justice etc.
Why do the poors in India fail to take advantage of the opportunities:
- The institutions of empowerment are weak.
- Ours is an entitlement based system, in which the political parties and the government prefer to take short-term measures of the distribution of freebies to attract voters.
- The political system does not believe in empowering people through long-term measures of Education, awareness, Justice, Health and Productivity.
- Huge presence of inequality.
- Lack of understanding of the nature of poverty.
What should we do?
- It is time to close the tired debate about whether the economic reforms of 1991 have only helped the rich
- India will once again have to redefine what it means by poverty.
- Poverty lines have to be recalibrated depending on changes in income, consumption patterns and prices.
- The usual poverty line used in narratives is 1.90 international dollars a day, but the World Bank has two others—$3.20 per day for middle-income countries and $5.50 per day for rich countries.
- India is now a middle-income country, with an estimated per capita income of around $9,000 in purchasing power Economists suggest that a poverty line of $3.20 translates into 75 Rs a day, or 68% higher than the Tendulkar poverty line.
- The Indian political, policy and administrative systems have to adjust to the new realities of Indian economy.
- The focus of government spending should be on the provision of public goods rather than subsidies.
- The rate at which economic growth translates into poverty reduction depends on how the growth dividend is distributed. Therefore, income inequality should be the priority of government.
- One of the strategies has been to target specific services.
- Another related strategy is the identification of the concentration of deficiencies among certain socio-economic groups, geographic groupings, gender, and demographic classes.
- Since convergence of interventions also improves the effectiveness of each intervention, government has gone about a multi-pronged intervention strategy.
- Such as offering access to health as well as education together with laying down critical infrastructure addresses multiple deficiencies concurrently.
- Other strategy of government is to make better institutional arrangements and espousal of innovative technology solutions for effective and efficient service delivery. For instance, e-governance, DBT, PPP mode, partnering with NGOs.
- Establishing collaboration between public and private sector providers of social services.
Empowerment of people through social development and education is the need of the hour. Providing to the poor all sorts of choices, from which he can choose the best, should be the mantra. In short, we need to make the poor of the country capable. More efforts need to be made by governments, making them more inclusive and efficient and provide more opportunities of employment, better infrastructure, etc and make them trickle down to the poor and vulnerable sections of the society, to get rid of poverty in coming years.