Government of India and all political parties shout from the house tops that they are going to eradicate poverty in India by so many years. In India, about 50 % of people get income less than 1 $ per day while almost 70 % of the population gets less than 2 $ per day per person. Only about 4.3 % people are graduates and about 30 % of the population cannot read and write. In such circumstances, how anybody can remove poverty in India? There are different definitions of poverty. If you can eat every day certain calories of food, you are above poverty line. How ridiculous!
Poverty cannot be removed with the present day definition and approach. Poverty should be turned into an aspiration Engine.
If I have a cycle and you have a motorcycle, I am poor and you are rich. If I have a one bedroom flat and you have a 4 bed room flat, I am poor and you are rich. I should be encouraged or provide opportunities to work hard and earn more money so that I can also have a motor cycle and a good house. The definition of poverty changes continuously as and when one acquires material assets and could eat, send children to school, have money for health care and dress well and have a reasonably comfortable house.
We hear that a Domestic’s daughter has cleared IAS and a laborer’s son has cleared IIT entrance examination. The driver’s son has become an engineer and went to America for further studies and employment. These are the methods to overcome poverty.
The Government while trying to provide minimum subsidy for the needy people regarding food, health, education etc, it has to concentrate to provide
- Quality education for all with minimum fee.
- The Government should provide free education up to 12th
- The cost is immaterial with the compared to subsidies in agriculture, industry etc.
- Make higher education more employment oriented and free as far as possible if they are employment generating capabilities.
- The study in IITs and IIMs should be more costly and provide scholarships for the needy.
- India has largest exportable human capital like any other materials like iron ore, copper etc.
- Set up an human export department like any other export department
- Export people to other countries and charge 10 % of their salaries as a tax for 10 years.
- Look after their safety and safe return if they want to.
- Encourage them to settle in their new countries and help India in whatever manner they can by setting up schools, colleges, industries etc.
- The major reason for poverty is uneconomic land holdings in agriculture. About 70% of people depend on agriculture and related activities in India even today. Move the people from agriculture to other activities. Provide special subsidies and grants, employment opportunities etc for the people who have less than 5 acres, so that they can move out of agriculture there by reducing the suicides due to repeated crop failures and increased burden of loans.
- Encourage more small scale industries and employment generating industries in rural areas.
- In the next 10 to 15 years, the village population is going to move into towns and cities in search of employment. There are going to be more slums. It is important that there should be a proper guidelines for slum maintenance instead of slum clearance as slums cannot be removed. If one slum is removed another will come up as people have to live somewhere, if they move out of villages. Each slum has to be recognized as a village and provide adequate infrastructure for water, health, dwelling etc.
The Government should work as a growth engine rather than a controlling one and provide various facilities which make people to work and earn and become rich rather than depend on doles of Government progrmmes and remain poor perpetually.
India has an opportunity with young population to supply labour to the world, provide trainers in various trades and become centers of productivity for various activities to reduced poverty not only in India but in all other countries with similar problems and issues.