Question 1: Why calorie -based norm is not adequate to identify the poor?
Answer: Calorie-based norm for identifying poor focuses on a single aspect, i.e. consumption of food. While it can be an ideal tool to identify all the poor as a group, it cannot reveal other aspects of poverty. It cannot help in identifying those poor who really need assistance.
Question 2: What is meant by ‘Food for Work’ programme?
Answer: ‘Food for Work’ programme involves those programmes which provide predefined minimum wages to the poor in lieu of some work. MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) is an example of ‘Food for Work’ programme.
Question 3: Why are employment generation programmes important in poverty alleviation in India?
Answer: Employment generation programmes assist the poor people in becoming self-employed. It is assumed that once a person becomes employed, he can develop a regular source of income and may not need assistance in the long run. While financial help can have short term benefits, employment generation programmes can have long term benefits for poverty alleviation.
Question 4: How can creation of income earning assets address the problem of poverty?
Answer: Once a person is able to create income earning assets, he would get a regular source of income. A regular source of income; no matter how small; can help a person in at least fulfilling the basic needs. Thus, creation of income earning assets addresses the problem of poverty to some extent.
Question 5: The three dimensional attack on poverty adopted by the government has not succeded in poverty alleviation in India. Comment.
Answer: All the poverty alleviation programmes have definitely succeeded in addressing the issue. This is verified by the low level of poor people in villages as compared to the national average. But there are many factors which hamper in all out success of such programmes. Experts believe that low motivation, lack of training and susceptibility to corruption among the government and bank officials are main reasons for the relatively less success of these programmes. Non-involvement of local institutions is another major factor. Last but not the least, the resource allocation is unable to cope with the gargantuan scale of poverty in India.
Question 6: What programmes has the government adopted to help the elderly people and poor and destitute women?
Answer: Government has initiated National Social Assistance Programme to help special groups of poor. Under this programme, elderly people who do not have anybody to take care are given financial assistance in the form of monthly pension. Destitute women and widows are also given similar assistance.
Question 7: Is there any relationship between unemployment and poverty? Explain.
Answer: Unemployment is a major reason of poverty. If a person is unemployed or suffers from seasonal of hidden unemployment, he may not earn enough meet even the basic needs. An unemployed person often falls in the vicious cycle of penury and debt trap and may not be able to come out of it.
Question 8: Suppose you are from a poor family and you wish to get help from the government to set up a petty shop. Under which scheme will you apply for assistance and why?
Answer: I will apply under the PMRY (Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojna) because this programme provides bank loans for starting a business.
Question 9: Illustrate the difference between rural and urban poverty. Is it correct to say that poverty has shifted from rural to urban areas? Use the trends in poverty ratio to support your answer.
Answer: There are differences between rural and urban poverty. If we consider the calorie-based criteria then calorie requirement for rural person has been kept at a higher level than that for urban person. In 1973-74, more than 80% of poor in India lived in villages. This figure has come down significantly in 2003-04. At present, percentage of poor in rural areas is less than that in urban areas. Large scale migration from villages to cities; in search of alternate employment is cited as the main reason for this trend. Hence, this can said that poverty has shifted from rural to urban areas.
Question 10: Suppose you are a resident of a village, suggest a few measures to tackle the problem of poverty.
Answer: The best way to tackle the problem of poverty in a village is to generate employment avenues. People should be trained in vocational skills so that they can start some manufacturing units. For this, the banks should provide financial assistance. Those engaged in manufacturing should also be taught the importance of quality. These steps can help in reducing poverty in rural areas.