Poverty in India Poverty in India is a major issue. Rural Indians depend on unpredictable agriculture incomes, while urban Indians rely on jobs that are, at best, scarce. Since its independence, the issue of poverty is still rampant in India. There are 22.15% people living under the poverty line in India according to a 2004- 2005 survey by NSSO. The estimate was based on monthly consumption of goods, daily wages, self employment and landless laborers. However Economic growth and positive commercial developments have served to reduce poverty substantially over the years in India. As of 2010, more than 37% of India’s population of 1.35 billion still lives below the poverty line. Based on the survey by NSSO more than 22% of the entire rural population and 15% of the urban population of India exists in this difficult physical and financial predicament. The main causes of Poverty in India are its high population growth rate, agrarian form of economy, primitive agricultural practices, illiteracy, ignorance, unemployment, underemployment, caste based politics, urban rural divide, social inequity and discrimination. And also poverty situation such as the division of resources, as well as wealth, is uneven in India - this disparity creates different poverty ratios for different states. For instance, states such as Delhi and Punjab have low poverty ratios. On the other hand, almost half the population in states like Bihar and Orissa live below the poverty line. A number of factors are responsible for poverty in the rural areas of India. Rural populations primarily depend on agriculture, which is highly dependent on rain patterns and the monsoon season. Inadequate rain and improper irrigation facilities can obviously cause low, or in some cases, zero production of crops. Additionally, the Indian family unit is often large, which can amplify the effects of poverty. Also, the caste system still prevails in India, and this is a major reason for rural poverty - people from the lower casts are often deprived of the most basic facilities and opportunities. The government has planned and implemented poverty eradication programs, but the benefits of these programs are yet to bear fruits. One third of the Indian population has emerged from the squalor of poverty in recent years inspite of the above factors. The issue of urban poverty in India can be best expressed with the term pseudo urbanization. Pseudo urbanization is a state when a city is unable to contain its populace in terms of providing livelihood, housing and infrastructure. The phenomenal increase in population in the cities is one of the main reasons for poverty in the urban areas of India. A major portion of this additional population is due to the large scale immigration of rural families from villages to cities. This is mainly due to the vast and continuous immigration of the rural poor into urban areas. Immigration creates a shortage of resources in the cities. Urban poverty in India and other third world countries has resulted in the formation of large slums and shanty towns. This immigration is mainly attributed to poor employment opportunities in villages. Since 1950,Indian government has launched various plans and implemented a number of programs designed to eradicate poverty in India, and has had some success with these programs. For the problem of poverty in India, solutions have been found with some success in recent times that has sought to increase the GDP through different processes, including changes in industrial policies. There is a Public Distribution System, which has been effective to some extent. Other programs include the Integrated Rural Development Program, Jawahar Rozgar Yojana and the Training Rural Youth for Self Employment (TRYSEM), and other on-going initiatives. A very good example of this is the civic drive to make the poor self sufficient for the three basic requirements of food, clothing and shelter. The most successful part of the scheme has been food rationing, which has made food available to the poor at controlled prices. Crusades like ‘national employment program’ and ‘food for work’ initiatives have done much to harness the unemployed as productive beings. Another anti poverty program in recent times, which has won much acclaim, is the ‘rural landless employment guarantee program’. This was drafted in 1983 to target the rural poor for employment and economic rehabilitation. However India will have to work hard for a long time for complete eradication of poverty.