Definition of Poverty
Poverty is referred to as general scarcity or dearth, or the state of one who is short of a definite amount of material possessions or money.
Absolute poverty refers to the scarcity of basic human needs, which generally includes water, food, sanitation, shelter, clothing, education and health care. Relative poverty is referred contextually as economic inequality in the society or location in which people live.
Since poverty has many components, social scientists look at it through a multiplicity of indicators. Generally the indicators used relate to the levels of consumption and income. But now poverty is looked through other social indicators like lack of general resistance due to malnutrition, illiteracy level, lack of access to healthcare, lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation, lack of job opportunities, etc.
Rural poverty is a multi - dimensional social problem. Its causes are diverse. They are:
1. Climatic factors
2. Demographic factors
- Rapid growth of population
- Size of family
3. Personal causes
- Lack of motivation
4. Economic causes
- Low agricultural productivity
- Unequal distribution of land and other assets
- Decline of village industries
- Immobility of labour
- Lack of employment opportunities
5. Social causes
- Caste system
- Joint family system
- Social customs
- Growing indebtedness