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Define poverty.

Poverty is the state of being poor; lack of the means of providing material needs or comforts.


What is meant by ‘Food for Work’ programme?

The government has several wage employment schemes for the poor unskilled people living in the rural sectors and one of them is the National food for Work Program.


State an example each of self employment in rural and urban areas.

Examples are Rural Employment Generation Program(REGP), Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojana (PMRY) and Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana(SJWRY). The first program targets the creation of self employment opportunities in small towns and rural villages. It is being implemented by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission. In this program one can get loans from the banks to set up small industries. The unemployed who are educated and come from low-income families in both the rural and urban areas can get financial aid to set up any enterprise under the other two schemes.


How can creation of income earning assets address the problem of poverty?

This is so because this will bring down the inequality of income among the population. Inequality in the distribution of income is the main reason behind people living in poverty.


Briefly explain the three dimensional attack on poverty adopted by the government.

The first one is an approach which focuses on growth. It is based on the belief that the increase in the per capita income would spread to all the sectors of people and hence poverty would get eradicated. The second method was towards wage employment was guaranteed to one adult from every family who was unskilled and was to do manual labour for 100 days every year. The third approach of alleviating poverty is to provide the basic minimum amenities to the people below the poverty line.


What programmes has the government adopted to help the elderly people and poor and destitute women?

Apart from these, the government has brought in social security programs to help specific groups. For example, elderly people who do not have anyone to take care of them and poor women who are destitute and widows are given pensions and monthly income through a scheme called National Social Assistance Program.


Is there any relationship between unemployment and poverty? Explain.

Unemployment is also a major factor of poverty and casual employment and under employment result in debt and increase poverty. Indebtedness is also a cause of poverty being sustained. A steep rise in the prices of essential commodities and the unequal distribution of wealth has been major causes of poverty in India.


What is the difference between relative and absolute poverty?

Relative poverty measures the extent to which a household's financial resources falls below an average income threshold for the economy. Absolute poverty measures the number of people living below a certain income threshold or the number of households unable to afford certain basic goods and services.


Suppose you are from a poor family and you wish to get help from the government to set up a petty shop. Under which scheme will you apply for assistance and why?

It is the Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojana (PMRY) which is the scheme that should be adopted in order to benefit from the many schemes provided by the Government.


Illustrate the difference between rural and urban poverty. Is it correct to say that poverty has shifted from rural to urban areas?

The urban poor in India is mainly due to the reason that people shift from the rural areas to the urban cities in search of better opportunities. The urban poor, being those who have migrated from the rural sector to gain employment and couldn’t. Industrialization has not been able to provide jobs for everyone. The urban poor also consist of casual workers who have no job security, limited skill sets, no savings and scarce opportunities.


Explain the concept of relative poverty with the help of the population below poverty line in some states of India.

Five states Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Orissa account for 70% of the poor in our country. In 1973-74 half the population of all the larger states was below the poverty line but in 1999-2000 just Bihar and Orissa are in the same level. These two states have reduced their share of the poor but not to the extent of other states. Gujarat had reduced the poverty percentage from 48% in 1973 to 15% in 2000. West Bengal reduced its poverty percentage from 62% to 27% during this period.

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