Poverty is not merely going hungry; it means lack of resources like land or education to make out a living; means lack of employment; means lack of access to some basic needs of life like health services, education, food etc., means lack of voice to be heard and ability to influence the formulation of policies or implementation of programs by the government.
Poverty is not simply a matter of inadequate income but also a matter of low literacy, short life expectancy and lack of basic needs such as adequate shelter, clothing and safe drinking water.
Definition : Poverty is a situation where the individual or community lack the resources, ability to meet the basic needs of life.
Relative Poverty: Refers to lacking a usual or socially acceptable level of resources or income as compared with others within a society or country.
Penury : Extreme poverty.
Absolute Poverty: is destitution wherein one lacks basic human needs including clean water, food, clothing, shelter, health cover and education.
The World Bank defines poverty in absolute terms. According to them, the poverty is classified into:
- Extreme Poverty : Living on less than US $1.25 per day
- Moderate Poverty : Living on less than US $2 a day
World Bank has stated that fighting with poverty is at the core of its work.
According to the definition of poverty by the World Bank, the poor are classified as:
- Subjugate Poor : People with per capita consumption expenditure as 0.7 – $1 per day
- Medial Poor : people with per capita consumption expenditure as 0.5 – $0.75 per day
- Ultra Poor : People with per capita consumption expenditure as 50 cents or $0.5
Poverty may also be understood as an aspect of unequal social status and inequitable social relationships, experienced as social exclusion, dependency, and diminished capacity to participate, or to develop meaningful connections with other people in society. This is of considerable relevance to the Indian situation.
- Women headed households had a high incidence of poverty.
- Ultra poor are more among the women headed households.
- Poverty is very high among women workforce in agriculture in India.
- Ethnic minorities are another class of the poor.
- Dominant sections of ethnicity in the society controls the political conditions and assets, depriving the marginalized from having access to these economic assets.
- Migrants are always exposed to higher levels of poverty.
- Either they are from rural areas to urban areas or vice-versa.
- They are poor basically.
- They are unskilled and semi-skilled workers
- They are cut off from their traditional networks or systems and they have higher incidence of poverty among them.
- World’s most deprived people or poor people are in geographically adverse zones. Examples are the scheduled areas of tribes, Deserts and hilly regions.
- As they are primarily dependents on food-gathering or hunting, there is high incidence of poverty among these regions.
- Agriculture is not possible, which is the provider of basic foods.
- Infrastructure, Health services are inadequate.
- Primitive industrial activity is absent.