Poverty refers to a situation when people are deprived of basic necessities of life. It is often characterized by inadequacy of food, shelter and clothes. In other words, poverty refers to a state of privation where there is a lack of essential needs for subsistence.

India is one of the poorest countries in the world. Many Indian people do not get two meals a day. They do not have good houses to live in. Their children do not get proper schooling.
The growing population inflates the problem of poor techniques used in Agriculture. Further, there is unequal distribution of wealth. As a result, the poor people are often exploited by the wealthy community. The most important causes of Poverty in India are poor agriculture, growing Population, gap between rich and poor, corruption and black money.

Poor agriculture: India is mainly an agricultural country. About 80% people of our country depend on agriculture. But our agriculture is in a bad way. Farmers are poor and uneducated. They do not know the modern methods of farming. They have no good facilities of irrigation. They do not get seeds and fertilizers in time. Thus, the yield is poor. Agriculture is not profitable today. We face the shortage of food. We have to import it. So, poor agriculture is one of the causes of India’s poverty.

Growing population: Our population is growing rapidly. But our resources are limited. The growth in population creates problems for us. Today, our population is 1.20 billion; tomorrow we will be 1.21 billion and so on. We need more food, more houses, and more hospitals for them. So we have no money to spend on development projects. The ever-growing rate of population must be checked. If not, we may not be able to remove India’s poverty.

Gap between the rich and the poor: The widening gap between the rich and the poor is also responsible for India’s poverty. The rich are growing richer. The poor are growing poorer. This economic gap between the two must be reduced. Our social system should be changed. The poor people must get all help to reap the fruits of Independence.

Corruption and black-money: There are corruptions in every walk of life. There is inefficiency in offices. People have become selfish. They neglect the national interests. Black money causes the problem of rising prices. Some people have all the privileges. But many others are suffering. Black money affects our economy. It causes poverty.

Effects of poverty
1.Illiteracy: Poor people constitutes greater share of illiterate population. Education becomes extremely difficult when people are deprived of basic necessities of life.
2.Child Labor: In India, a large number of young boys and girls are engaged in child labour. Also read, article on Poverty and Child labour in India.
3.Nutrition and diet: Poverty is the leading cause of insufficient diet and inadequate nutrition. The resources of poor people are very limited, and its effect can be seen in their diet.
4.Poor living condition and Housing problems: The don’t get proper living conditions. They have to fight the hardship of poverty to secure food, clothes and shelter. A large number of poor families live in houses with one room only.
5.Unemployment: Poor people move from villages to towns and form one town to another in search of employment/work. Since, they are mostly illiterate and un-skilled, there are very few employment opportunities open for them. Due to unemployment, many poor people are forced to live an unfulfilled life.
6.Hygiene and sanitation: These people have little knowledge about hygiene and proper sanitation system. They are not aware of the harmful consequences of not maintaining proper hygiene. The government is taking initiatives to make available clean and safe water, and proper sanitation system to them.
7.Feminization of poverty: Women are the worst victims of poverty. Poverty effects greater number of women then men. The total of poor women outnumbers the total population of poor men. The causes include low income, gender-inequality, etc. They are deprived of proper-diet, medicines and health treatment.
8.Social tensions: Poverty is often characterized with income disparity and unequal distribution of national wealth between the rich and the poor. Concentration of wealth in the hands of few rich people lead to social disturbances and revolts. Fair or even distribution of wealth leads an overall improvement in general standard of living of people.

We have to solve this problem of India’s poverty.
•Farmers must get all facilities for irrigation.
•They should be trained and educated.
•Agriculture must be made profitable.
•The ever-rising population should be checked.
•Family planning schemes should be introduced.
•More and more industries should be set up to meet the needs of our country.
•Corruption must end. Our offices should work efficiently.