23 Jan 2024 : Daily Answer Writing

Q1) Poverty is not limited to lack of financial resources, but also encompasses a degree of social marginalization and exclusions. Comment.


  • The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) of the UN defines poverty as a human condition characterized by sustained or chronic deprivation of the resources, capabilities, choices, security, and power necessary for the enjoyment of an adequate standard of living. Poverty rather than being a unidimensional problem has become a multidimensional issue which encompasses access to financial resources as well as reasons of social marginalisation and exclusion.

A lack of financial resources causes poverty in the following ways:

  1. Access to basic necessities: People living in poverty often lack the financial resources needed to access basic necessities such as food, clean water, and shelter. This can lead to poor health outcomes and traps them in the vicious cycle of poverty.
  2. Quality Education: Without adequate financial resources, people may be unable to access quality education. This perpetuates inter-generational poverty by limiting their opportunities for employment and social mobility.
  3. Healthcare: People without financial resources often cannot access healthcare services. It results in a cycle of high disease burden, poor productivity, and low-incomes.
  4. Asset Poverty: Lack of wealth and assets render people unable to weather financial shocks like economic slowdowns or unemployment. E.g., As per Azim Premji University, 23 crore Indians were pushed into poverty due to Covid-19 pandemic.
  5. Financial exclusion causes indebtedness at hand of loan-sharks. It also results in lack of savings and limits opportunities for entrepreneurship.

Social marginalization and exclusion cause poverty in the following ways:

  1. Feminization of poverty: Women suffer disproportionate poverty-related challenges due to gender-wage gap, being restricted to “pink-collar” jobs, and unequal access to food, health, and education. Women also have lower ownership of assets.
  2. Lack of Social Capital: Social networks and relationships are important sources of informal credit, job opportunities, and support during times of need. However, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes have limited social mobility as they lack the social capital due to caste-based exclusion and disempowerment.
  3. Political marginalization: Limited access to political power can result in inadequate policy responses to poverty and the issues of exclusion. Marginalised groups could also face political persecution in absence of political representation.
  4. Regional Disparities: Unequal economic growth and development across different regions contributes to poverty. E.g., some regions may lack basic infrastructure such as roads and electricity, or law and order which would limit economic opportunities and perpetuate poverty.
  5. Environmental Degradation such as loss of forests, fisheries etc. due to infrastructure development or industrial needs destroys traditional livelihood of marginalised people. E.g., issues of forest rights and landlessness among Dalits and tribals.
  6. Minority groups get marginalised due to discrimination, which limits opportunities and perpetuates poverty. E.g., sexual minorities like transgenders or religious minorities like Muslims as per Sachar Committee report.

It is a well-recognised principle that poverty is not only monetary but a result of multidimensional exclusion which includes inability to access education and basic infrastructure due to underlying social, economic, and political factors. As per UNDP’s Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), India has the world’s largest number of multidimensionally poor people, numbering 22.8 crore. Multidimensional efforts are needed to beat multi-dimensional poverty.

Upload Answer here


Similar Posts