Friday, 21 October 2016


  • About 21,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations. This is one person every four seconds. Sadly, it is children who die most often.
  • Yet there is plenty of food in the world for everyone. The problem is that hungry people are trapped in severe poverty. They lack the money to buy enough food to nourish themselves. Being constantly malnourished, they become weaker and often sick. This makes them increasingly less able to work, which then makes them even poorer and hungrier. This downward spiral often continues until death for them and their families.
  • UN promoted “Food for work” programs where the adults are paid with food to build schools, dig wells, make roads, and so on. This both nourishes them and builds infrastructure to end the poverty. For children, there are “food for education” programs where the children are provided with food when they attend school. Their education will help them to escape from hunger and global poverty.
  • Poverty is defined as per capita daily spend of less than $16 in USA.
    For India it is less than $1.25, as defined by world bank.
  • Over the past three decades, China has successfully led the greatest poverty alleviation program in the history of the world. During that time, an estimated 500 million Chinese were lifted out of extreme poverty. This remarkable success was achieved, in part, through the recognition of land rights. It was Mao’s disastrous collectivization of farmland into huge communes that led to China’s greatest famine. And it was Deng Xiao Ping’s dismantling of the communes and establishment of the household responsibility system that led to China’s first great lurch toward prosperity and stability. An estimated 88 million farming families have gained legally secure land tenure. Consistent GDP growth of over 10% for a decade is another contributing factor.
  • A vast majority of the global poor live in rural areas and are poorly educated, mostly employed in the agricultural sector, and over half are under 18 years of age. 
  • Access to good schools, healthcare, electricity, safe water and other critical services remains elusive for many people, often determined by socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, and geography.
  • Poverty in the abstract doesn’t challenge us, it makes us think, lament, but when you see poverty in the flesh of a man, woman or child, this challenges us.  The attitude we have is running away from the needy and not drawing near to them.
  • After 2030, negative impacts of climate changes could threaten farming and food systems in every region of the world. Agriculture has always been the interface between natural resources and human activity. Today it holds the key to solving the two greatest challenges facing humanity: eradicating poverty, and maintaining the stable climatic corridor in which civilisation can thrive.
  • In USA, approximately 50 million Americans (one out of six) were listed as food insecure (defined as people who either do not have enough or are at real risk for not having enough food for their family). This despite the fact that America looses/wastes almost 100 billion pounds of food a year, or about one pound per person per day.
  • In the emerging economies, however, progress continues to elude a large number of people living in extreme poverty.
  • 35% of Indians are below official poverty line.
Poverty in India:
  • India spends only 1% of its GDP on health (3-4% is considered bare essential).
  • 70% population live in villages. 
  • 50% of Indians don’t have proper shelter.
  • 70% don’t have access to decent toilets.
  • 35% of households don’t have a nearby water source.
  • 85% of villages don’t have a secondary school.
  • Over 40% of these same villages don’t have proper roads connecting them.
  • Urban poverty in India is a direct effect of rural migrations fleeing poverty. 
  • Unlike China, India neglected improving agriculture productivity which could have alleviated rural poverty.
  • With so much emphasis on service sector, the jobs created in that sector were just 2 million despite its contribution to GDP at 50%. This resulted in complaints that globalization and modernization benefited only the rich.
  • India's globalization has just left its rural poor on their own without any social safety nets.
  • India's market liberalization resulted in market forces investing in profitable areas leaving plenty excluded. 
Burden of Poverty:
  • Poverty is broadly the gap between one’s needs and the resources available to fulfill them. That is, people in poverty are those who feel “poor,” who feel they have less than they need.
  • Social and economic resources shape the health of individuals and populations. 
  • Lacking money or time can lead one to make poorer decisions, possibly because poverty imposes a cognitive load that saps attention and reduces effort.
  • The poor often behave in less capable ways, which can further perpetuate poverty.
  • Poverty, and its related concerns, places an undue burden on an individual’s limited mental resources, leaving less for other tasks. 
  • Poor are less capable not because of inherent traits, but because the very context of poverty imposes load and impedes cognitive capacity. 
"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. 
In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius

My View:
Poverty is just a matter of bad luck. It is like a man fallen into a ditch. Unless external help is extended he can't over come it. It is the primary duty of every government, organisation and every human being to help poor people over come it. Hatred towards poor is not only uncivil but also despicable.Poverty unattended will surely breed undesirable violence, crime and diseases. In the words of John F. Kennedy "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.". 

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