Introduction:Poverty is a widespread condition in India.
It includes not only economic insecurity but also social discrimination andexclusion, lack of basic services, such as education, health, water andsanitation, and lack of contribution in decision making. In September 2015, thepost 2015 UN Development Agenda, comprising of 17 Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) that address the key concerns of humanity and 169 interlinked Targetswill be adopted, replacing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These strivingand aspirational SDGs call for significant rethinking in development processesacross the world. Building on the MDGs, the SDGs suggest to end poverty and withdrawalin all forms, leaving no one behind, while making development economically,socially and environmentally sustainable. The Government of India has alsoadopted the principle of Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas (“Together with All,Development for All”), and stated that the “first maintain on developmentbelongs to the poor”.Poverty in India:Poverty is an important issue in India.
TheWorld Bank reviewed and planned revisions in May 2014, to its povertycalculation methodology and purchasing power uniformity basis for measuringpoverty worldwide, including India. According to this revised methodology, theworld had 872.3 million people below the new poverty line, of which 179.6million people lived in India. In other words, India with 17.5% of totalworld’s population had 20.6% share of world’s poorest in 2011. Planning Commission ofIndia defined poverty and measured on calorie based both in rural and urbanareas.
It is distinct that below poverty lines (BPL) people consumed 2400 Kcal/ day in rural areas and 2100 Kcal/day in urban areas. Suresh TendulkarCommittee recommended BPL as Rs. 27 in rural areas and 33 in urban areas informationsubmitted in 2011-12, but former RBI Governor, C. Rangarajan Committeesubmitted a report Govt that in the year2014 that BPL as those spending Rs. 32/- per day in rural areas and Rs. 47/- inurban cities. greater part of the rural poor in India are poor because, lack ofassets like land and joblessness.
Besides this caste, race, ethnicity, genderare other aspect. Initiatives for Poverty Eradication: Initiative for poverty eradication is play significantrole in anti-poverty program has focused on generating employment throughpublic works that assist to develop agricultural infrastructure, productiveassets and entrepreneurship-based livelihood opportunities. With theinspiration of free independent India, Govt.
of India initiated allocated lionshare in the financial budgets to change the socio economic and politicalareas. Different rural development programmes and schedules were introduced.The Community Development programme (CDP) was introduced on October 2nd 1952.It focuses on self-governance and develops leadership at gross root level. Someother programmes like concentrated on Agriculture Areas Development Programme,Drought prone Area Programme (DPAP), Hill Area Development Programme, commandArea Development Programme and Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) effectivelyimplemented during 1970 to 1980. National Rural Employment Programme (NREGP),Rural Labor Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP) and Jawahar Rojgar Yojana(JRM) are also enlargly released for the poverty alleviation programmes.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (MGNREGP) isflagship programme that implemented in the year 2006. This programme mainobjective is to provide wage employment to unemployed people in rural sector itis concerned of 100 days in a Calendar year and also extended 150 days in ayear in mandatory. Poverty Eradication and SustainableDevelopment Goals:In the year of September 2015, a new set ofdevelopment goals have been strongly agreed by 193 countries in a specialsummit at the United Nations (UN). These are called Sustainable DevelopmentGoals (SDGs) having high motto of aim to end poverty, its strong recommendationto achieve gender equality and ensure food security in every corner of theglobe by 2030. To be in Development era Poverty eradication seems to be one of the mainpriorities of this grand framework.
In this regard SDGs have marked the endof development as poverty eradication.To be more exact the first target of this goal that states: By 2030, eradicateextreme poverty for all people everywhere. It also aims to make sure social safeguard for the poorand vulnerable, increased access to basic services and support people injuredby climate-related extreme measures and other economic, social andenvironmental shocks and disasters. Ending the poverty in all forms everywhereimplies attention to both completely eliminating extreme poverty whileattending to other key socio-economic, cultural, political and environmentaldimensions of poverty eradication, and monitoring progress in social protectionand inequality.Targets: Ø By2030, eradication of extreme poverty forall people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.
25 aday Ø By2030, decrease at least by half the proportion of men, women and children ofall ages living in poverty in all its proportions according to nationaldefinitions of poverty.Ø EffectivelyImplementation of national appropriate social protection systems and measuresfor all, including floors, and by 2030 to achieve substantial coverage of thepoor and the vulnerable groups.Ø By2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable,people have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to required basicservices, ownership and control over land and other forms of property,inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financialservices, including microfinance Ø By2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations andreduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events andother economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters. There is compellingevidence that India has achieved following the economic reforms initiated from1991 has led to significant reduction in poverty. Poverty has fallen across alleconomic, social and religious groups in worldwide and the post-reform era.Sustained growth has been increased (6.2% from 1993- 94 to 2003-04 and 8.3%from 2004-05 to 2011-12) has created gainful employment opportunities andhelped to raise wages thereby directly empowering the poor.
It has also broughtthe government an increased volume of revenues enabling it to sustain a highlevel of social spending and, thus, doubling the direct effect of growth onpoverty. Several large-scale anti-poverty programmes have been implemented. TheMahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, for occurrence, hasgenerated over 2 billion person-days of employment during 2016-17 alone, hugenumber of the disadvantaged sections of society.Additionally, initiatives have been launched for providing pension andinsurance to workers in the most disadvantaged people in unorganized sector,widows and the differently abled. Over 130 million people have accessed lifeand accident insurance under these programmes its shows the effectiveness ofthe progarmme.Further, hard work areunderway to universalize access to basic services.
In order to achieve the goalof housing for all by 2022, direct financial assistance is being extended topoor households. Nearly 3.21 million houses were constructed last year as partof this initiative in rural areas. Programmes are also being implemented forensuring access to education, health and nutrition security, with a specialfocus on vulnerable groups such as women and children. Other priority areas aredrinking water and sanitation facility.
Currently, nearly 77.5% of ruralhabitations are being provided with 40 litres of drinking water per capita on adaily basis. Another 18.9% habitations have been covered partially thus far.Over 63.
7% of households in rural areas had access to an enhanced sanitationfacility in 2016-17 as compared to 29.1% in 2005-06. With value to cleansources of cooking fuel, over 22 million families have been provided withLiquefied Petroleum Gas connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.Between 2005-06 and 2015-16, households having access to clean fuel haveincreased from 25.5% to 43.8%.All above discussed programmes effectiveness hassignificant result in reducing poverty.
Social work response forpoverty eradication:Social work directlyaddressed many of the factors associated with poverty at the individual,household, and community levels. Itincludes Ø Encouraging and supporting individuals and households tostart income-generating activities (IGAs): This activity targeted theunderlying problem of lack of employment or under-employment, and the resultantlack of incomes or low incomes. This strategy targeted entire communities andalso vulnerable groups like women, youths, the elderly, refugees, and orphansand other vulnerable children. Some of the IGAs introduced and taken up byindividuals, households and social groups included animal husbandry of piggery,chicken, goats, as well as starting small-scale businesses.Ø Support ofeducation at primary and secondary education: This enables children who otherwisewould not get an opportunity to live decent lives in the future.
This strategyalso reduces on the burden of care and expenditures of poor families, thus freeingthe limited resources to meet their basic needs.Ø Resource mobilization and provision: This involved two distinctapproaches, namely: remedial approach and the more developmental approach. Theformer involves giving relief assistance in form of food, accommodation andmedical care to some social groups such as refugees. The latter involves someagencies providing grants, improved seeds, and animals. Other agencies encouragedpeople to save and access microfinance loans for investment in productiveventures.Ø Brokering role: Social workers play a brokering role by linkingpeople to resources and technical services such as those of extension workerswithin their communities and outside. Linking farmers to markets makes social workersassume other roles of community organizers and empowerment agents.
Ø Capacity-building: This addresses the underlying problem of limitedpractical knowledge and skills in production processes, as well aspowerlessness. It largely involves training and providing information to entirecommunities and vulnerable social groups such as farmers, women, orphans andvulnerable children, youths, the elderly and community leaders.Ø Community organization and counseling: This involves mobilizingpeople with the same problem or concern to form groups purposely for poolingideas, resources and power together for problem-solving and development.
Groupswere perceived a potent force for pulling people out of poverty as they wouldsupport each other and get linked to government programmes and non-governmentalorganisations more easily than if they worked alone.Ø Promotion of positive attitudes and work ethics amongcommunity members: The major technique used was discouraging certainpractices such as thriftiness in spending and instead encouraging savings andhard work. In other words, social workers inculcated work ethics in thecommunities for poverty reduction. They also handle domestic violence, genderinequalities and injustices which disintegrate families – making it difficultfor individuals to commit them to production for self-sufficiency.Ø Prevention andpromotion of good health: Social workers largely reported providingeducation on health issues to communities and specific groups of youths on HIV/AIDS. Social workers also worked on other preventive health programmes likethose for prevention of blindness, water and sanitation as well as HIV control.
Social workers sensitised people about existing services and opportunities(such as reproductive health services) and encouraged the people to use theservices. Social workers also encourage people to create their own services ona self-help basis. This implies another role of community organisers.Ø Advocacy and mediation: These are roles that respond to povertyas a function of abuse of rights, marginalisation and exclusion. Social workersmediate to secure resources and opportunities for marginalised groups such aspoor women, persons with disability and persons living with HIV/AIDS.Ø Research and advice on policy: This role wasundertaken by social workers working largely in consultancy firms and the researchdepartment of parliament.
The latter had an edge over advising on policy tomembers of parliament since they are near each other socially and physically.Less than 10% of the social workers were engaged in this role.Conclusion:India has, over the pastyears, directed its development pathway to meet its priorities of employment,economic growth, all basic need of food, water and energy security, disasterresilience and poverty alleviation. Achieving the SDGs in a country as diverseas India will definitely be a Herculean task, but not unachievable.
We need toclearly identify priorities, have locally relevant and people-centricdevelopment policies, and build strong partnerships. The government also needsto have a focused plan for tracking and evaluating impact and scaling upsuccessful interventions. The SDGs are a direction and a vision for India toensure prosperity and growth both social and economic. Social work recognizes its core contribution in addressingsocial issues from a human rights perspective and targeting vulnerable groups.