Reasons For Poverty Situated In India

This article gives reasons for poverty situated in India from past to the present. This write-up helps know the past effects on present life of Indian people. As rural poverty is more, the reasons are given in detailed in this article for your clear understanding.


Poverty is stage of inability to acquire basic human needs. Basic human needs are food, pure water, shelter, health care and education. These are very necessary for a man to live his life peacefully. If these are not provided, it will create problems in society. It has repercussions which may lead into disturbances.

Reasons for poverty in India

Role of British rule in poverty of India

British rule has made India raw material producing country which has not helped India evolve. People faced problems as non-availability of food haunted. Commercial cropping was encouraged and food crops were neglected. East India Company which was not expert in administration had occupied the administrative place and their rule could not help India evolve. It had seen India as a good market from where it can buy cheap goods and sell and bring precious goods and sell in Indian markets. For this reason, British had not provided much and whatever is provided are for their market oriented thoughts. They could not provide irrigation to agricultural lands but laid great burden on the shoulders of farmers. This has repercussions in later periods. The 200 years of British rule had led us regress.

Failure of land reforms and Indian poverty

In British ruling era, Jamindari system is prevalent in which larger parts of land will in the hands of a person who extorts money from the tenants. After independence, government of India has removed the system but could not take the lands back due to court cases and delay done by our legislators. The agricultural lands could not come into the hands of normal farmers who can cultivate it for their living and providing food to others. The role of land reforms in poverty is more as eligible persons could not get land from government.


India is second most populated country. It has limited land area with comparison to big nations which occupies 7th position in order. The resources are very less compared to its population. The basic amenities are not available to most of the population. Even though we have got success in decreasing the growth rate, it is not worthy to be considered.


India is agriculture dependent country. It is gambling with monsoons. Agriculture cannot provide year long employment. This leads to temporary unemployment. Most of the people who are engaged in agriculture are illiterates and do not have any other abilities and only live on their physical abilities. This is the scenario of the rural area. Coming to the urban area, where people are educated, but do not have jobs. Even they have abilities, due to more population where demand and supply rule works they do not get job related to their capacities and there are no industrial development which can harbour youth of India.

Failure of policy making

Poor people are not included in the policies made by the governments. It has been the effort of various governments since independence to thwart the growth of poverty and ameliorate it, but no success has been achieved until now. So many policies are written, but lack of inclusive policies cannot help in reducing the poverty in India.

Caste-ridden villages

The caste based politics in rural areas has thwarted the poor to get the benefits. Those benefits are enjoyed in the name of backward. Political parties which are based on their caste provide benefits to their caste people primarily and providing the backward people secondarily is the primary reason of poverty prevalent in rural areas even though policies are written for the benefit of poor and backward. Such castes are prevalent in India which cannot let backward classes as they lose benefits from certain classes if they are grown economically and socially.


Most of the poor reside in villages. These cannot come to cities due to their illiteracy and cannot live in non agricultural societies. Government provides amenities but, as they are illiterates and do not have time to attend meetings they could not know what government is doing for them. People are not provided with what government is intended to provide. They are looted at every step and provided with very less.


The role of corruption in poverty is very prominent as it is the element which is not letting the poor get their benefits. Many programmes are initiated to support the people to be out of poverty but they could not help because of the corruption hole in government bag which is leaking all the things which has to reach the poor. The 2G spectrum scam is worth of 1, 76, 000 crore. This much of money is fallen in the wrong hands. But, Government of India outlay of MNREGA for the 2009-2010 is 39, 100 crore rupees. The money which has fallen in the wrong hands can be utilised for another five years for this rural people work programme. If government can utilise CWG scam, 2G scam and other scams money for the poor, we can reduce half of poverty in India which may place India as developed.

Lack of women empowerment

The middle class behaviour which does not let the woman work is contributing much to the poverty even it is in rural areas or urban areas. The death of husband throws the entire family on the road as only bread winner has mingled with the nature. As there is no insurance for them, they may fall into penury.

Lack of decentralisation by state governments

Central government provides specific powers to state governments, but state governments do not provide the same powers to local governments. Local people have good understanding abiut what they need and what to do. But, if governments provide irrelevant and unnecessary, they cannot utilise it properly. For example, if a village is sanctioned by roads, people oppose it as it is not the primary need of them. The primary need can be a well to have water to drink and irrigate. But, state governments provide road facility. Hence, rural people cannot develop. If the same provided money for roads is used in providing well, the people will get economic benefits. Hence, decentralisation has role in poverty amelioration.


The mistakes of past and the stumbling blocks of present are keeping the poverty alive in India. If it is not removed, our next generation also has to study in their text books that India is still developing country. Every element which is promoting the poverty in India is to be removed with roots of it for the growth and development of India.


Author: Sarath Kumar19 Aug 2011 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1

According to me, poverty is there due to illiterate. Rich only getting rich, poor getting poor. Rich people should have some self responsibility by helping the poors. And major thing wherever corruption is there. First this should be got removed.

  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name: