Economics (NCERT) Notes

4.2 Categorisation of Poverty

Categorising Poverty

• Chronic poor: People who are always poor and those who are usually poor but who may sometimes have a little more money (example: casual workers).

• Churning poor: People who regularly move in and out of poverty (example: small farmers and seasonal workers).

• Occasionally poor: People who are rich most of the time but may  sometimes have a patch of bad luck. They are called the transient poor.

• Never poor: The non-poor


Limitation of Category Approach

• This mechanism groups all the poor together and does not differentiate between the very poor and the other poor.

• This mechanism takes into account expenditure on food and a few select items as proxy for income.

• This mechanism is helpful in identifying the poor as a group to be taken care of by the government, but it would be difficult to identify who among the poor need help the most.


Other Factors of Poverty

• Accessibility to basic education, health care, drinking water and sanitation.

• Social factors that trigger and perpetuate poverty such as illiteracy, ill health, lack of access to resources, discrimination or lack of civil and political freedoms.


Meaning of True Development

Removing the obstacles to the things that a person can do in life, such as illiteracy, ill health, lack of access to resources, or lack of civil and political freedoms.


Doubts about the Government’s Claim

Many economists point out the way the data are collected, items that are included in the consumption basket, methodology followed to estimate the poverty line and the number of poor are manipulated to arrive at the reduced figures of the number of poor in India.

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