Poverty and Hunger in India : a Socio Economic Analysis of Policies of Government

Topics: Poverty, Malnutrition, Famine Pages: 12 (4332 words) Published: March 16, 2011
“Poverty and hunger in India: A socio-economic analysis of policies of the government(s)” Meril Mathew Joy
IIIrd Semester

“Poverty”has reduced but still remains a major concern for Nation. Poverty is not only the scarcity of resources, but is set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. “Hunger” and “Poverty” are powerful but familiar terms. Everyone knows what they mean, yet, they evoke different descriptions for everyone. Even major international organizations mandated to alleviate hunger and poverty use a variety of interpretations. The Hunger Project board member Mohini Giri said, “To me, hunger is rape, molestation, dowry, illiteracy, female foeticide, female infanticide, and above all, it is patriarchy. That is what hunger is all about to me.” Lack of access to resources or assetlessness is a unifying characteristic of poverty in all its manifestations. The poor lack ownership of or access to assets such as land, water, forest, dwelling units, credit, literacy, longevity, voice and capital-both physical and social. Those who are severely below the poverty line are largely involved in subsistence type activities for which they get exploitatively poor returns despite suffering extreme physical hardship and undertaking grave risks so as to earn a meagre income. It is also said that population root cause of the problems like poverty, hunger, ill-health and environmental degradation. A brief examination of the history of health would reveal how utterly erroneous a Malthusian understanding is, since it is indubitably true that over a long time span, expectation of life in societies is positively associated with population. Malthus argued against the possibility, indeed the desirability, of changing social and political institutions that bred want and hunger. INTER-RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN POVERTY AND HUNGER AND THEIR GENERAL ASPECTS In Culture of Capitalism, people's ability to pay for food & not the non-availability of food is the reason of hunger. But the greatest dilemma is how to create economic, social, and political conditions to ensure that everyone has access to food or the means to acquire it. There are genuinely sufficient resources in the world to ensure that no one, nowhere, at no time, should go hungry. The fact is that, there is enough food in the world for everyone. But tragically, much of the world's food and land resources are tied up in producing meat, beef and other livestock; but the control over resources and income of a country is based on military, social, political and economic power of that country to a very large extent. Food is consumed by the well off, while millions of people suffer from malnutrition and starvation. The fast food diet and the meat eating habits of the wealthy people around the world support a food system that diverts food resources from the hungry population. A healthier diet contributes to changing the world system that feeds some people and leaves others hungry. Poverty is not just the matter of incapability to get a certain amount of income, but it is the failure to achieve the basic minimum facilities that are required for a person to live. Someone’s expenses are else’s income. The most outstanding flaw in the debate of Poverty & Hunger is that the scholars have not adequately realized that there is an enormously wide range of categories who just somehow manage to satisfy their psychological need in the form of hunger & those who die of starvation or of starvation related diseases. When a human being is unable to satisfy his hunger, apart from this being a problem having considerable cultural, social, economic & political implications, it also becomes a stark biological problem of survival. When he finds himself worsted in the struggle for existence, the human biological beings ‘fights’ back to survive in an effort to stop...

References: * Shah, Anup. (2010), “Poverty Facts and Stats”, http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats
* Mehta, A.K and Shah, Amita, “Chronic Poverty in India: Overview Study”, http://cprc.abrc.co.uk/pubfiles/07Mehta_Shah.pdf
* Economic Survey (2005-2006), “Poverty alleviation and employment generation programmes”, http://indiabudget.nic.in
* Yesudian, C.A.K.( 2007), “Poverty alleviation programmes in India: A social audit”, http://icmr.nic.inijmr2007october1013.pdf
[ 14 ]. Economic Survey (2005-2006), Poverty alleviation and employment generation programmes, http:/indiabudget.nic.in
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