|3||POVERTY AS A CHALLENGE|
Social groups which are most vulnerable to poverty are Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe households.
Joint family system has prevented people from doing hard work.
Steps taken by the Government for Poverty Alleviation
Our government’s strategy to poverty reduction has been twofold. One, promotion of economic growth and, two, targeted poverty alleviation programmes.
Poverty Alleviation Programmes : To address the poor, a need for targeted anti-poverty programmes was strongly felt.
Some of them are given below :
- Prime Minister Rojgar Yojana (PMRY) : The aim of this programme (which was started in 1993) was to create self-employment opportunities for educated unemployed youth in rural areas and small towns.
- Rural Employment Generation Programme (REGP) : REGP was launched in 1995 to create self-employment opportunities in rural areas.
- Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY) : SGSY was started in 1999. The programme aims at bringing the assisted poor families above the poverty line.
- Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana (PMGY) was launched in 2000.
- Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) for ‘the poorest of poors’ and elders.
- National Food for Work Programme (NFWP) was launched in 2004.
- National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) was passed in September 2005. The Act provides 100-days assured employment every year to every rural household in 200 districts.
The Challenges Ahead
Though poverty has declined in India, poverty reduction remains India’s most compelling challenge. We will have to do something special to fight against wide regional disparities. We must broaden the definition of poverty from ‘a minimum subsistence level of living to a reasonable level of living’. Bigger challenges before us are : providing health care, education and job security for all the achieving gender equality.