The below poverty line is a criteria that has been designed by the government of India to segregate a section of people who need government’s help from those who are well off and do not need any government aid. The Below poverty line states the economic status of any nation. The basic criterion for determining the below poverty line status varies from state to state and also varies within the state. The Indian Government performs the census and determines the new below poverty line status after every ten years. The current BPL criterion is the one that was decided in 2002. The government is supposed to determine the new below poverty line benchmarks by the next year.
Every person needs a minimum amount of money to survive in this world or to fulfill his most basic needs. Any person who earns less than this fixed amount of money, necessary for survival, is said to be living below the poverty line. According to this criterion that the United State’ government uses to check poverty within the nation, about 40 percent people in India are living in extremely poverty ridden.
However, the Indian standards for being below poverty line are different. Since the population of India is divided into two main sub-classes: rural population and the urban population, the below poverty line criterion for the rural and the urban population is different according to certain standards. It is generally believed that any person living in the urban areas needs more money to survive than a man living in the rural areas. This is because the cost of living in urban areas is higher than the cost of living in rural areas. Thus, the poverty line criterion (according to the calorie measurement requirement) is high in urban areas as compared to the rural areas.
India has adopted many different ways to determine the poverty line. One of the oldest ways of determining poverty is based on the nutrition requirements of the people. It is believed that every India living in the rural area requires more calories of energy as compared to a person living in the urban area. Thus, the calorie requirement for a person living in the rural area is 2400 calories while the calorie requirement for a man living in the urban area is 2100 calories. Thus, if a man is able to earn enough money to buy food equivalent to the calories needed, he is above the poverty line. The BPL criteria (in terms of money) for the urban areas, is Rs. 560. On the other hand, the BPL criteria for people living in rural areas are Rs. 368.
The government adopts a new method in every successive five year plan to determine the poverty status of the country. There are thousands of families which are living below the poverty line. The government introduces many schemes to each year for the betterment of the families living under the poverty line. However, unfortunately, most of the benefits intended by the government are lost on their track and do not reach the people living below the poverty line.
Some of the schemes adopted by the government over the years for the benefit of the people living below the poverty line are- Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojna, Jawahar Gram Sammridhi Yojna, DRDA administration, basic minimum services, Local area development schemes, credit-cum-subsidy scheme for rural housing, Indira Aawas Yojna etc.
A country cannot be called developed or progressive if a major section of its population still lives under the poverty line. Each year, hundreds of farmers commit suicide because they do not have enough money to get proper meals for their family. About 5% people in India are unable to afford two meals per day. The food grain allotted by the government for free distribution amongst the poor, is lost due to the corruption.
The Government of India will have to work harder to make better the life of people who are living below the poverty line. They will have to take more initiatives and also make sure that they the true beneficiary of the schemes introduced are not the politicians and bureaucrats but actually the poor people who need that help.
Apart from this, it will also have to work on creating value for the Indian Agricultural products in the International markets. New technology and innovations will have to launched. Agriculture is vital to Indian economy and can play a pivotal role in lowering the number of people below the poverty line. Only after this has happened, will India be actually counted as a successfully growing economy.
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