India's Poorest Bear The Brunt Of Coronavirus Pandemic

by GoNews Desk 1 month ago Views 1802
India's Poorest Bear The Brunt Of Coronavirus Pand
The highest price of the ongoing battle against the coronavirus is being paid by crores of poor people in the country.

Ever since the lockdown was announced, the exodus of lakhs of poor people from the country’s metros has been underway. These people used to earn their livelihood by working as daily wage labourers.

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After factories were closed, it had become difficult for lakhs of labourers to stay on in cities also because their wives, children and elderly parents - back in their villages - are struggling daily to satiate their hunger. 

According to government data, 21.9% of the country’s population is below the poverty line. In simple terms, around 25 crore people in the country are compelled to live below the poverty line. 

A person who earns Rs 150 per day is considered to be below the poverty line, according to international norms.

However, the formula to decide what constitutes poverty keeps changing in India from time to time. While the Central government has a different set of criteria, states have other formulae.

In the year 2015, a committee of the erstwhile Planning Commission headed by C Rangarajan had suggested that the poverty line in the country should be defined as a person earning Rs 47 in cities and Rs 32 in villages. Before this, the poverty line criterion in villages was Rs 27 and Rs 32 in cities.

A Planning Commission report for 2011-2012 states that the highest number of poor people in the country live in Uttar Pradesh, where 538 people per one lakh subsist below the poverty line.

At second place is Bihar, where 358 people per lakh are below the poverty line. In Madhya Pradesh 234, in Maharashtra 197 and in West Bengal 184 people per lakh are compelled to live below the poverty line.

The incidence of poverty is the highest in all these states and the maximum migration to earn a livelihood also takes place from here.

In this report, everyone who spends Rs 816 in villages and less than Rs 1,000 in cities on herself per month has been considered as poor.

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