1. Poverty is a state where a person cannot meet basic needs like food, clothing, clean drinking water, and shelter.
  2. The country's poverty is caused by many things. For one's purposes, the English had left the country with a destitute populace and restricted assets. Eighty percent of the population lived in poverty at the time of India's independence. India has done well in reducing poverty since that time—13.4%, according to the World Bank—to where we are today. However, the primary objective for policymakers is still poverty elimination.


SDG Goal 1 Targets

  1. By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day
  2. Additionally, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions
  3. Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable
  4. Ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance.
  5. Build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters


Facts related to poverty in India

  1. According to the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 2021 of the NITI Aayog, which considers health, education, and standard of living as the three dimensions of poverty, 25.01 percent of the county's population lives in poverty.
  2. The Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) and India Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 2022.
  3. The index, which measures acute multidimensional poverty in over 100 developing nations, is an essential international resource.
  4. The UNDP's Human Development Report Office and the OPHI launched it for the first time in 2010. The MPI tracks deprivations in ten areas, including health, education, and standard of living. These areas include poverty's incidence as well as its intensity.

Factors contributing to Poverty in India

  1. Economic occupation: The majority of the country's population still relies on agriculture for their livelihood. However, the agricultural community suffers from low income and poverty due to outdated agricultural practices, low productivity, and fragmented ownership of farmland.
  2. Asset distribution inequity: Income disparity resulted as a result of the faster rate of earnings growth experienced by upper- and middle-income groups in India over decades compared to the lower-income groups. The situation in India is such that just 20% of the population owns 80% of the country's wealth. One factor contributing to poverty is the unequal distribution of income.
  3. Unemployment: Another factor that amplifies the impact of poverty in the country is unemployment. In India, nearly 77% of families do not have a regular income.
  4. Education and illiteracy: Social issues India's poverty is largely due to a lack of education. The unemployment rate and poverty rates rise as a result of rising illiteracy rates.
  5. Social Traditions: That Have Gone Out of Style Social traditions like the caste system play a significant role in the spread of poverty and lead to the segregation and marginalization of particular segments of society. In India, certain social groups have a harder time getting basic necessities like food, water, and shelter because of the caste system.
  6. Inequality between the sexes: India is primarily a patriarchal society where women face discrimination. The poor state of women in the country is largely attributable to the low status they enjoy. Women are pushed into poverty by differences in pay, education, and employment opportunities.
  7. Corruption: Despite the government's assurances that it will make periodic significant efforts to eradicate corruption in India, the reality is very different. In India, corruption is deeply ingrained. It is difficult to eradicate corruption in India. Poverty is rising at the same time as corruption rates rise.
  8. Individual issues: The lack of individual effort also contributes significantly to the rise in poverty rates. Some people don't want to work hard and are lazy. These people are poor because they don't put in enough effort on their own.


Effects of Poverty in India

Poverty in India is like a disease that kills people and their families. The following are the main effects:

  1. Health Impact: Poverty has the greatest impact on health. People who live in poverty do not have sufficient access to food, clothing, high-quality medical facilities, or clean surroundings. Poor health is caused by a lack of all these basic facilities. Malnutrition and illness affect these people and their families, reducing their workdays and pushing them further into poverty.
  2. High Infant Mortality In India, approximately 1.4 million children die before the age of five each year; India ranks among the nations with the highest rates of child mortality. Pneumonia, malaria, diarrhea, and persistent malnutrition are the leading causes of death. Poverty is a factor in some of these.
  3. Malnutrition India leads the world in this category. Over 200 million people, including 61 million children, lack access to sufficient food.


The following are some of the Social Effects of poverty:

  1. Rate of violence and crime: The geographic proximity of violence and crime is coincidental. Poor people frequently engage in illegal behaviors like prostitution, theft, and chain snatching as a result of unemployment and marginalization.
  2. Homelessness: The majority of poor people are homeless. At night, they rest on the sides of the roads. As a result, the situation as a whole is extremely risky, particularly for children and women.
  3. Stress: Poor people are under a lot of stress because they don't have enough money. This causes them to be less productive, which makes them poorer. Poor people are forced to send their children to work rather than school because of their poverty. This is as a result of the families' inability to support their children. Children in poor families typically begin working at the age of five.
  4. Child labour: In India, it is illegal for children under the age of 14 to work. However, official statistics indicate that 12.5 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are employed. Additionally, between the ages of 6 and 14, 65 million children do not attend school and instead work in fields, factories, quarries, private households, or prostitution.
  5. Terrorism: Terrorist recruits typically come from low-income families. For participating in the destructive act of terrorism, these individuals receive substantial compensation.
  6. Impact on the Economy: Poverty is directly proportional to economic prosperity. The strength of the economy can be seen in the number of people in poverty. A nation's economy thrives when more people are productively employed.


Solutions to Eradicate Poverty in India

The following are the actions that should be taken to combat poverty in India:

  1. Providing equal access to essential facilities:

To end poverty, it is essential to have access to basic amenities, especially in rural areas. Poor people will be able to work productively and emerge from poverty if they have access to food, shelter, and potable water.

  1. Increasing the income of farmers:

Since the majority of the country's population still derives its income from agriculture, increasing agricultural income will undoubtedly lift many people out of poverty. A crucial step in this direction is the government's initiative to double farmers' incomes by 2022 and 23.

  1. Boosting non-farm employment:

Another important way to get rid of poverty in the country is to create non-farm jobs. Industries like transportation, construction, food processing, sales, marketing, etc., can provide many with employment.

  1. Fair credit access:

Fair access to credit will make it possible for young people to start businesses and create jobs. However, efforts are being made to amend the system, which prevents fair access. The introduction of women-focused credit facilities by banks is one such step. The Annapurna Scheme, the Mudra Yojana, the Stree Shakti Yojana, and other government programs are plans to make it easier for women to get credit?

  1. Increasing female employment and education:

In order to eradicate poverty, it is essential to provide education to girls. Girls will be able to enter formal employment and become self-sufficient as a result.

  1. Boosting economic expansion:

More jobs will be created and more taxes paid to the government as a result of faster economic growth. By implementing our poverty alleviation programs and constructing the necessary infrastructure, the government can, in turn, use the funds to directly combat poverty.


Some Government Schemes to Eradicate Poverty

When discussing poverty, government efforts to alleviate poverty in India must not be overlooked. It is important to emphasize that the government's efforts to lift people out of poverty are to blame for any small drops in poverty ratios that have been observed. However, there is still a great deal to be done to reduce corruption.


  1. MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act): By providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work, this goal ensures the right to work and ensures livelihood security in rural areas. When compared to other programs, this act has generated more jobs.


  1. Public Distribution System: The PDS provides the poor with subsidized food and non-food items. Through a network of public distribution shops established in a number of states across the nation, major commodities distributed include staple food grains such as wheat, rice, sugar, and kerosene. A household above the poverty line is entitled to 15 kg of food grain each month under the PDS scheme, while a family below the poverty line is eligible for 35 kg of rice or wheat each month.


  1. RSBY (Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana): This is a poor person's health insurance. It covers hospitalization in both public and private hospitals without the need for cash. To obtain a biometric-enabled smart card with their fingerprints and photographs, every family living below the poverty line with a yellow ration card pays a registration fee of 30 rupees.


The work to end extreme poverty is far from over and many challenges remain. It is becoming even more difficult to reach those remaining in extreme poverty, who often live in fragile contexts and remote areas. Access to good schools, healthcare, electricity, safe water and other critical services remains elusive for many people, often determined by socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity and geography.



  1. Hunger is a situation when adults and children cannot always get food, have to eat less, eat poorly, and frequently go without food. Another way to define hunger is the troubled or painful feeling brought on by a lack of food. According to economist Amartya Sen, the real cause of hunger is inability to pay for food.
  2. India has experienced tremendous economic expansion over the past two decades. Even though India has one of the ten largest economies in the world, hunger is widespread there. India ranks 97th in the fight against hunger according to the International Food Policy Research Institute.
  3. Many people in India, particularly women and children, do not have enough food to eat. Over 194 million people, or 14.5 percent, of India's 1.3 billion inhabitants are malnourished. This crisis is difficult to address for a variety of reasons and is a serious issue all over India.
  4. India's undernourished population decreased from 247.8 million in 2004-2006 to 224.3 million in 2019–21, according to another report from the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World in 2022. It stated that the number of stunted and overweight children under the age of 5 decreased from 3 million in 2012 to 2.2 million in 2020, and that the number of stunted and overweight children under the age of 5 decreased from 52.3 million in 2012.


SDG Goal 2 Targets

  1. SDG Goal 2.1- to end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food all year round.
  2. SDG Goal 2.2- to end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons.

Causes of Hunger

  1. Social inequality: Women, displaced people and refugees, and people with disabilities are more likely to face barriers to essential services, jobs, income, and resources when a society is unequal, access to nutritious food is different, and marginalized members of a community are less likely to have access to them. Hunger, particularly long-term hunger, is brought on by this inequality, which in turn exacerbates inequality.
  2. Changes in climate: Climate shocks like drought, flood, fire, heat wave, and other climate shocks are forcing people to flee their homes, destroying their means of subsistence, and deepening the hunger in communities. Environmental change decisively affects the amount and nutritious nature of food created all over the planet. Additionally, it contaminates and threatens the supply of water.
  3. Conflicts: Conflict is both a cause and a result of hunger. About 60% of hungry people in the world live in countries where there is active conflict, most of which is over food, water, or the resources needed to make it. Harvests are disrupted, humanitarian aid delivery is hampered, and families are forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict.
  4. Disasters: Throughout history, communities have been devastated by earthquakes, floods, and other disasters. However, as a result of climate change, urbanization, and other factors, emergencies have become much more frequent and severe. Communities that are already poor are most susceptible to natural disasters and typically lack the resources necessary to recover. Short-term crises can quickly escalate into long-term ones for these families.
  5. Hunger arises from poverty: 648 million people worldwide live in extreme poverty. They can't make a living in any part of the world on less than $2.15 per day, which is not enough to support a healthy lifestyle. Families are unable to afford health care, nutritious food, or clean water if they do not have sufficient and sustainable incomes. Consequently, chronic undernutrition affects one in three children in low- and middle-income nations. Hunger can cause stunted growth, limited mental and emotional development, and even death if not treated.
  6. Sanitation issues: More than 700 children die each day from illnesses brought on by filthy water and unsanitary living conditions. Diarrhea, parasites, and chronic intestinal inflammation are common in areas without clean water. They may make children more susceptible to malnutrition and other health problems by preventing them from absorbing essential nutrients.

How to reduce hunger?

  1. Reduce wasting of food: The International Institute of Refrigeration claims that developing nations would increase food availability by 200 million tonnes, or 14 percent, if they had the same level of refrigeration infrastructure as developed nations.
  2. Include nutritious crops in diet: Because they were traditionally grown in India, millets like amaranthus, buckwheat, minor millet, finger millet, proso millet, foxtail millet, and pulses were an important source of food and nutrition security.
  3. Increasing food availability: by expanding the scope of the PDS to the most disadvantaged members of society. The PDS can be made to include categories like beggars, people who live on roads, people who live in slums, and so on.
  4. Enhancing sanitation and water quality for drinking: to lessen the burden of hunger and improve masses' immunity by lowering the likelihood of disease spreading frequently.
  5. Communication to change behaviors: that aims to increase women's, infants', and young children's access to health care, clean water, and proper sanitation and hygiene in order to safeguard them from diseases that prevent nutrients from being absorbed.
  6. Promoting health for infants: Communication that promotes best practices, such as starting breastfeeding exclusively at 6 months and continuing it until 24 months with adequate and sufficient complementary food, is an economical and long-term strategy for preventing children from going hungry. Social security that protects poor people from price rises and gives them access to healthy food; and a focus on increasing women's education access as a means of empowering them.

Steps taken by Government

  1. National Food Security Mission

The National Food Security Mission was established in 2007 by the National Development Council. Rice production had successfully reached the anticipated "10 million tons, wheat to 8 million tons, and pulses to 2 million tons" by the end of the 11th Five Year Plan (2011–2012). The 12th Five-Year Plan, which set a goal of 25 million tons of food grain between 2017 and 2020, was even more successful.


  1. POSHAN Abhiyan:

On International Women's Day 2018, India's Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, launched the National Nutrition Mission (NNM), also known as the POSHAN Abhiyaan. The goal of NNM is to reduce stunting, undernutrition, anemia, low birth weight babies, and pregnant women and lactating mothers.


  1. Eat Right India Movement


The Eat Right India movement was started by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to make sure that the Indian population has access to safe and healthy food. The program is based on a collaborative, empowerment, and building regulatory capacity approach.


  1. Zero Hunger Programme

India's Zero Hunger Program began in 2017 with the goal of improving nutrition, health, and agriculture. It was created by the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, the Indian Council of Medical Research, and the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC). The development of farm equipment, the redesign of the farming system, the establishment of genetic gardens for biofortified plants, and the beginning of zero-hunger training are the primary focuses of the program.


  1. Food Fortification

Anemia and malnutrition can result from consuming low-quality food. Both are present in Indian community women and children. Since the 1950s, food fortification has been a common practice in India to reduce anemia and malnutrition. Chemical, biological, or physical supplementation of nutrients is known as food fortification. Rice, wheat flour, edible oil, salt, and milk are examples of fortified foods.

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