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Lifting Poor Out of Poverty

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Lifting poor living 48 per cent below poverty line even after 40 years of independent existence looks somewhat very irritating, disturbing and puzzling. Speakers at a roundtable in the city have called upon all concerned for alleviating poverty as country’s 48 per cent people are now living below poverty line. About 48 per cent people in the country are living below poverty line, 20 per cent under extreme poverty while 10 per cent are ultra poor, they said, calling non-government organizations along with government initiative to play their role in alleviating poverty for showing poor people a better way of living.
Poverty is a chronic problem in the present world. It is so massive that it is not possible to solve this problem with single initiative. They called on NGOs along with government initiative to play their role in alleviating poverty for facing this challenge. We know what NGOs are doing as far as poverty alleviation is concerned. NGOs are working in this field in a disintegrated way without active coordination. There is persistent demand for coordination between NGOs and government for alleviation of poverty. They also called for involving representatives of local government in this regard.
The theme of the roundtable titled. Extreme Poverty Reduction: Challenges and Possibilities at the seminar.
It looks very much unbelievable that with huge foreign donation coming from abroad, why poverty is not brought to a tolerable level. Where lies the fault and who are to be blamed for this frustrating situation? The problem in the opinion of many lies due to unplanned, haphazard and lopsided policy and thus leading to wastage of money not spent for ameliorating the living conditions of the ultra poor. There must be strict monitoring on foreign donation coming to the country and allocation of fund for specific purposes with accountability and transparency. All must work together for building a beautiful future for the poverty stricken people by ensuring their food security. This is a stupendous task. Poverty is an urgent national agenda. Being guided by humanitarian sense, we should involve the poor into country’s mainstream of development. Bringing balance in social system is needed for eradicating the existing discrimination in income. This can be changed only when the socio-economic system undergoes as sea change. Poverty is a stigma to the nation inequality is rising in our society due to different reasons, including climate change, over population, corruption, lack of employment, education and democratic environment.
Bringing reform in the existing system and enhancing the standard of education is needed. Political unrest must be removed and skill based and employment oriented education system must be introduced for solving poverty. A fresh look at this grave moment is the need of the hour.
This endemic poverty will not be arrested in a few years. It will take at least a decade or so to bring the percentage to the minimum level. In this context what we have always forgotten is our unnecessary fondness for foreign prescription. This will not solve this chronic scourge bedeviling the socio-economic environment and restore civic peace and harmony.
The thinking of our policy makers and planners should undergo a rapid change for the better. All planning and decision making for reducing poverty should be home grown. Lofty policy depending on donors money will wrought havoc. Thousands of derelict ponds and barren lands are not being taken care of. They are either grabbed by a gang or lying as an abandoned property.
Why efforts are not made to reexcavate the dry ponds, give lease to genuine fishermen and barren land to the landless farmers with free inputs and machines to cultivate the land. If this is taken up on a crash basis throughout the country with the involvement of local elite, union council members and agriculturists the fate of the people will undergo a rapid change and poverty will automatically vanish to a great extent.
This sort of approach needs a strong political commitment which must be materialized in a phased and planned manner without red tapism and bureaucratic hassles. To start with, the government should choose a few backward districts and start implementing with availability of basic infrastructure to make the program a real success. Without sincerity of purpose, dedication and honesty any program worth poverty alleviation will never see the light of the day.
It would be better to look beyond piecemeal measures and devise a comprehensive strategy to streamline poverty alleviation and management. No poverty alleviation program, however sound, would work until and unless it is executed completely and effectively.

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