Ending poverty “in all its forms everywhere”, is Goal 1 of the UN’s Sustainable Development. Generally, poverty is associated with low income. However, the United Nations has recognized a wider meaning for the term, including in it, a lack of basic capacity to participate in the society effectively; a lack of enough food and clothing; a lack of clinics and schools and so on. In 2019, the UN Development Program (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Developmental Initiative (OPHI) released the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). The essence of this report, however, was the fact that poverty cannot be defined in terms of income alone and various other factors has to be taken into consideration as well.
Hence, the index measured poverty across 10 indicators, namely,
- Child Mortality
- Years of Schooling
- School attendance
- Cooking fuel
In India, the reduction in poverty was recognized as a major goal to achieve, for the first time in the 1960s, when former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi raised the slogan “Gareebi Hataao”. Since then we have come a long way, juggling between various government policies and schemes. In this article, we will look at how poverty is being challenged concerning each of the above-mentioned indicators in the present Indian context.
The Indian government has time and again taken initiatives to provide financial and employment benefits to the poor. Here, we have covered some important schemes you must know (especially for those who are preparing for any government exams like UPSC)-
Table of Contents
List of awareness programs in India:
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna
“Skilling is building a better India. Narendra Modi said, If we have to move India towards development then skill development should be our mission”
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna(PMKVY) is an employment scheme started in the year 2016. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship launched this scheme with a budget of 12000 crores. This scheme will benefit nearly 10 million poor unemployed youth after registering in this scheme. The motive of PMKVY is to encourage a large number of poor youth of the country to take industry relevant skill training. This training will help the youth to get employment and help them to get a better living. A few steps taken under this scheme are:-
Short Term Training:-
Providing poor youth with proper training and skilled certification.
Recognization of Prior Learning:-
Aligning the expertise of poor youth from the un-regulated workforce.
Providing training in special areas and government premises.
Kaushal and Rozgar Mela:-
This Mela is organized by training partners after every six months where unemployed skilled youth can apply for jobs.
Linking the competencies of the PMKVY candidates to potential employers.
Using technology-driven methods to ensure high-quality standard maintained by PMKVY.
Standardized Branding and Communication:-
Providing excellent visibility and accurate communication of the scheme
Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme
A promotional scheme of Voluntary actions for Disabled people is called Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation. To give more opportunities to the disabled, the act was revised in 2003. It is a very effective scheme that gives equal opportunities and equity to the disabled for their comfortable survival.
Under this scheme, voluntary organizations are provided with funds from the government to ensure necessary services to the disabled. The services given by the organizations help them to develop their living skills, education, and employment skills. With the vision of the involvement of disabled in the mainstream society and catalyzing their abilities, such schemes work for the disabled.
The focus of these schemes is always on education and skill development programs. These programs enhance educational and skill development opportunities at all levels and enlarge professional opportunities, income, and gainful occupation.
Deendayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojna
A step by the Indian government to empower the poor youth of the country. Deendayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojna, a youth employment scheme, is collecting praise from all over the country. Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister launched this scheme in 2014 on the 98th birth anniversary of Deendayal Upadhyaya.
Grameen Kaushalya Yojna aims in transforming the poor youth into an economically independent and global workforce. With a sum of 15000 crores, the government aims to enhance the employability of rural poor youth. The government has fixed 18-35 as the age group for the scheme. The scheme has a key role in skill youths who are financially low and provide them jobs on regular wages.
More than 55 Million skilled poor youths will benefit from this scheme. It will also help in reducing poverty by increasing employment. Following the training, they are provided with placements and jobs.
Hunar se Rozgar Tak:-
In the year 2009 Ministry of Tourism launched a special program Hunar se Rozgar Tak (HSRT). Its main motive is to create employable skills amongst poor youth. The Ministry of Tourism provides 100% funds to this scheme to benefit the poor youth. This scheme covers various sectors which are
- Food Production.
- Food and Beverages service.
- Stone Masonry.
- Golf Caddies.
- Tourist Facilitation.
Expert Institution like Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, IHM, Food Craft Institutes, and Indian Tourism Development Corporation is taking the initiative to implement HSRT. Every year the budget for this scheme is passed so as to provide free training to the poor youth. The common feature of HSRT in every field are:-
- The age of trainees should be between 18-28.
- Each trainee will undergo training for a period of 6 to 8 weeks.
- The cost of the training is 0 rupees.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act:-
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) an Indian Labour Law and Social Security which marks the right to work.
It ensures better livelihood in rural areas by providing a minimum of 100 days of employment. This scheme provides employment to every adult member of a poor family until a minimum of 100 days on regular wages. It is one of the world’s largest and ambitious public work programme.
In 2014 the World Bank stated it a stellar example of rural development. Under this scheme, employment is given within 5 km of residency of the applicant. If a person doesn’t get work within 15 days after applying then the person gets allowance the same as salary.
Under this scheme, there is no involvement of any contractor which, reduces corruption. MGNREGA only implies to the Gram Panchayats. According to the Indian Government, 68,26921 unskilled poor youth have enjoyed the benefit of this scheme. The minimum wages under this scheme ranges from 163 Rs to 500 Rs.
Employment Exchange Becoming National Career Counselings Centres:-
Modi government has changed all Employment Exchange into National Career Counseling Centres. These centers will continuously try to help in getting a job after joining the National Career Counselling Centre. The National Career Counseling Centre will consider all types of job requirements.
Around 4 crore unemployed poor people will get a job from this scheme. In the year 2006 100 models of National Career Counseling Centre were established in the country. The state government is responsible for all the activities and operations under this scheme. People seeking jobs will be provided with proper information regarding the type of job required.
Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana
The main motive of the scheme is to provide health insurance coverage to people belonging to the Below Poverty Line category. The yojna provides health insurance to the unorganized sectors and covers up to Rs 30,000 for a family of 5 members. The scheme provides cover for transportation charges of Rs. 100 per visit to the hospital having a maximum limit of Rs. 1,000.
National Food Security Act
In 2013, the National Food Security Act was passed to provide food and nutritional security to women, children and the poor. It provides subsidized food grains, through the following provisions –
- Mid-day meal – It is a centrally sponsored scheme, launched in 1995 to improve the status of primary education through nutritional support. It aims to ensure enrollment, retention & attendance especially of children belonging to the disadvantaged section. Besides, it works towards improving nutritional levels among children in primary and upper primary government schools. The scheme provides a cooked meal once a day with fixed nutritional value. A provision of 300 calories and 8-12 gm of protein to children from classes I-V is ensured. Similarly, a meal containing 700 calories with 20 gm of protein and 150 gm of food grains is provided to children from classes V-VIII. It extends its support to children studying in government-aided schools, local body schools, Education Guarantee Schemes (EGS) and Alternative & Innovative Education (AIE) centers. The government also manages the cooking cost and provides a transport subsidy.
- Public Distribution System – This system was established in 1994 to overcome the food scarcity that emerged due to WWII. Initially, it was meant to serve everyone but in 1997 it was reformed to target only the people belonging to the BPL and APL sections. Here the PM ANTYODAYA ANNA YOJANA was started to aid the TPDS to include the needy families and poor households, who were at the risk of hunger. Similarly, instead of importing goods from outside, the government started buying grains from the domestic farmers at Minimum Support Prices and then sold to the states at the central issue price. The Food Corporation of India procures, stores, transports and allocates the commodities to the states. From there, the states identify eligible families, issue ration cards and also supervise the ration shops. The shops distribute food commodities like wheat, rice and non-food commodities like kerosene at very cheap prices to people. Some states even distribute additional commodities like pulses, spices, sugar, and edible oils.
- Integrated Child Development Services – This program was launched to overcome malnutrition, reduced learning capacity, morbidity, and mortality. The implementation of the scheme is done by providing supplementary nutrition, immunization, health checkups, and non-formal & preschool education. Children up to 6 years of age, pregnant women and lactating mothers can avail of the benefits of supplementary food 300 days a year. This scheme is universal and not restricted to only BPL families. Moreover, through the 10th five-year plan, the program was linked to Anganwadi centers (AWCs). Children aged between 3-6 years who visit the AWCs are provided a nutritious morning snack – milk/ banana/ egg/ seasonal fruit, which is followed by a hot cooked meal rich in micronutrients. Take-Home Ration (THR) in the form of ready to eat or pre-mixed food is available for children below 3 years of age, pregnant women and lactating mothers. Besides that, additional micronutrient-rich food and energy-dense food is provided to severely underweight children. Women aged between 15-45 years are also educated about various health aspects.
POSHAN ABHIYAAN – PM’s OVERARCHING SCHEME FOR HOLISTIC NOURISHMENT was launched to make India malnutrition free by 2022. The main reason for the introduction of this mission was that despite the presence of so many nutrition-related schemes, the rate of malnutrition-related problems kept rising. POSHAN, hence, is focused on linking all such schemes to each other and aid their implementation by improving the utilization and quality of Anganwadi services. The program is divided into 3 yearly phases. It will cover 315 districts in the first phase, 235 districts in the second phase and the remaining in the last phase.
Jal Jeevan Mission
The JAL JEEVAN MISSION aims at providing water security to all by 2024. It will focus on increasing local water resources, recharging existing resources, promoting water harvesting and desalinization. Besides, it covers infrastructure for tap water connection in every village household, technological treatments to make water potable, transfer of water through the multi-village scheme and greywater management. This scheme will also ensure increased employment opportunities. This program would require the contribution of 10% (5 % in hilly rural areas) of the capital cost from the benefiting communities in the form of cash/labor, to instill a sense of ownership among the beneficiaries. An allocation of ₹3.60 lakh crore has been ensured for the implementation of this scheme.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan
A section of people belonging majorly to the rural areas faced a lack of proper toilets either due to financial constraints or due to superstitious customs. The SWACHH BHARAT ABHIYAN, which is the largest sanitation program in the country, aims at making India defecation free. It focuses on establishing a proper flush toilet system, eradicating the practice of manual scavenging and bringing about behavioral changes in people regarding healthy sanitation and cleanliness practices. India has achieved a 100% ODF status and now looks forward to becoming ‘ODF+’. This can be achieved by improving solid and liquid waste management through scientific processes, improving water cleanliness and personal hygiene.
Samagra Shiksha Abhiyaan
The right to free and compulsory education for children aged between 6-14 years of age is a fundamental right now (Article 21). The budget 2020-21 allocated ₹99,300 crores for the education sector. It also provided for full-fledged degree level online courses so that quality education becomes accessible to aspiring students of the deprived section. Moreover, 150 institutions of higher education will provide apprenticeships to students.
The SAMAGRA SHIKSHA ABHIYAN was launched to merge the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan and the Teacher Education program. It aims to include education from pre-nursery to XII without segmentation.
To improve the quality of education the scheme focuses on the two T’s– Teachers and Technology. It covers-
- Strengthening teacher education institutes and improving pre-service and in-service training
- Development of foundational skills at primary levels
- Digital technology in education through smart classes, digital boards, and DTH channels
- Improving ICT infrastructure in upper primary to higher secondary level
- Library grants to every school from ₹5,000 to ₹20,000
- Enhanced transport facility to children studying in classes I-VIII
- Improving the quality of infrastructure in government schools
- Focus on girl education with a commitment to Beti Padhao Beti Bachao
- Upgrading the residential Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyala from classes 6-8 to classes 6-12
- Self-defense training for girls from upper primary to senior secondary stages
- Increased allocations for uniforms and textbooks
- Increased allocation for children with special needs
- A stipend of ₹200 per month for girls with special needs from classes 1-12
- Focus on sports and physical education with increased allocation for sorts of equipment
- Focus on vocational training at the upper primary level
- Practical and industry-oriented vocational education from classes 9-12
- Emphasis on ‘Kaushal Vikas”
Pradhan Mantri AWAS Yojana (Urban and Gramin)
The PM AWAS YOJANA (URBAN) and the PM AWAS YOJANA (GRAMIN), aim to provide housing to all –the urban poor, the rural poor and the slum dwellers. It proposes to build 2 crore houses by 2022. The beneficiaries include people belonging to Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), low-income groups (LIGs) and middle-income groups (MIGs). The implementation of the scheme includes –
- In situ slum rehabilitation through the participation of private developers
- credit-based subsidy for affordable housing to poor
- partnership with the private sector to provide affordable housing
- subsidy to individuals for construction of the house
- subsidy of 6.5% on home loan interest rate for 20 years
- compulsory ground flooring for senior citizens and differently-abled people
- mandatory use of ecologically friendly building materials for construction of houses
- encouraging women to be the homeowners by making it mandatory to register the property in the name of both male and female heads of the family
Pradhan Mantri Sajal Bijli Har Ghar Yojana
The PM SAJAL BIJLI HAR GHAR YOJANA also known as the Saubhagya scheme aims at ensuring 24*7 energy access to all with the motto of universal household electrification in the country. It provides free electricity connections to all un-electrified households in rural and urban areas. It includes extracting electricity through a cable wire from the nearest pole to the concerned household, installing an energy meter, wiring for a single light point with an LED bulb and a mobile charging point. In case of the absence of a nearby electric pole, the erection of the same along with other accessories is covered under this scheme. Besides, it provides subsidies on devices like transformers, wires, and meters. Access to electricity will also ensure communication facilities like radio, mobile, and television to these households. A total outlay of ₹16,320 crores has been allocated for implementing the scheme.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
Similarly, the PM UJJWALA targets the families and poor households that are still deprived of LPG as cooking fuel and have to rely on firewoods, animal dung, and coal. The scheme provides subsidized LPG connections to women belonging to the BPL families along with financial assistance of ₹1600 for the next 3 years. And as women empowerment is the basis of this scheme, connections are issued in the name of the women in the families. To implement the scheme, ₹8000 crores has been allocated. It also provides interest-free loans to buy gas stoves. It ensures additional employment and business opportunity that will benefit domestic manufacturers of stoves, cylinders, regulators and gas hose. More than 5 crore such connections have already been provided to the needy households.
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana was introduced in January 2016 to provide the farmers with a safety net against any financial hardships they might face because of any natural calamities or other issues.
The actual budget allocated to the scheme was Rs 9,419 crores which has now been revised in 2019 to Rs 14,000 crore as per the Interim budget 2019 announced by Interim Finance minister Piyush Goyal.
It is the responsibility of the State Government to provide data to the insurance companies through crop cutting experiments done before every sowing season.
Awareness programmes in India: Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana
In the 2019 Interim Budget, the government announced fixed yearly income for all the small and marginal farmers. This scheme is expected to benefit about 12 crore farmers who have 2 Hectare land. Rs 6000 per year direct cash transfer will be done in the farmers’ bank account. It will be given in three equal parts of Rs 2000 each. Rs 75000 crore has been allotted for this yojna and the benefits will be provided from December 2018. It is a big push to the farmers’ income by the Modi Government.
India lifted 271 million people from poverty between 2006 and 2016, showing significant progress towards achieving the SDG 1. But still, there are 369 million people, around 27.9% of the population, who are gripped in the clutches of poverty. This means that we need to continue working at the same pace towards eradicating poverty to take it down straight from the roots.