Poverty is a situation that gives rise to a feeling of a this discrepancy between what one has and what one should have. What one should have is an internal construct. Hence, each person’s feeling and experience of power it is individual and unique. But, the feeling of powerlessness and resourcelessness possessed by all poor people.

Henry Bernstein identify the following dimensions of poverty:

  • Lack of livelihood strategies
  • Inaccessability to resources
  • Feeling of insecurity and frustration
  • Inability to maintain and develop social relations with others as a consequence of lack of resources


Three percepts are often used to define it:

  1. The amount of money required by a person to subsist
  2. the life below minimum subsistence level and living standard prevalent at a given time in a given place.
  3. The comparative state of well being of a few and the deprivation and destitution of the majority in the society.

The last approach explain it in term of relative and inequality. whereas the first two percepts refer to the economic concept of absolute poverty, the 3rd one views it as a social concept, that is in terms of the share of the total national income received by those at the bottom. We will explain each of the three waves separately

Measurements of PovertyCauses of Poverty in India
Social ProblemsRural Poverty
Poverty Pains and Problems of PoorAnti Poverty Programmes
Integrated Rural Development ProgrammePoverty Alleviation Measures
Indira Awas Yojana

The first View on Poverty

In terms of a minimum income required for substance, poverty has been defined as an ability to gratify the psychological needs, that is, need for survival, safety and security. The psychological needs are different from the social needs, the need for autonomy, the needs for independence, the need for self actualization.

The minimum requirements for fulfilling the psychological needs are food and nutrition, shelter and preventive and protective healthcare.

This requires minimum income to buy necessities and availing of facilities. Here It is perceived in terms of the poverty line which is determined by the prevailing standards of what is needed for health, efficiency, nurturing of children, social participation and the maintenance of self respect.

In practice, however, the poverty line is drawn on the basis of a barest minimum desirable nutritional system of calorie intake. In India, the Poverty line in was drawn in 1978 on the basis of per capita daily intake of 2,400 calories for the rural and 2,100 calories for the urban areas.

then the cost of food grains that fulfills this normative standards was calculated. Accordingly, at present, the poverty line stands at ₹368 and ₹559 per person per month for rural and urban areas respectively. Which is just enough to buy 150 grams of food grains everyday.


The Second View on Poverty

This view maintains that it has three main aspects of want of materials goats are materialistic possessions:

  1. Doge doge necessary to avoid physical suffering and need to fulfill the requirements of hunger and shelter, that is those needed to survive.
  2. These essential to meet human needs of health, that is, to get nutrition and to avoid diseases.
  3. Those needed to maintain a minimum subsistence level.

In simple terms, this refers to a minimum amount of food intake, housing, clothing, education and healthcare. In India, according to the planning commission, at current prices anyone spending rupees ₹965 per month in urban areas and ₹731 in rural areas will be deemed to be poor.

Measurements of PovertyCauses of Poverty in India
Social ProblemsRural Poverty
Poverty Pains and Problems of PoorAnti Poverty Programmes
Integrated Rural Development ProgrammePoverty Alleviation Measures
Indira Awas Yojana

Gross and Miller attempted to explain it in terms of three factors income, assets and availability of services. likewise, poverty cannot be related to the income factor if there is an increase in the price level. People may not be able to provide the necessity is of life for their family members.

पिछड़ा वर्ग,

Third View on Poverty

This view defines Poverty as a condition of falling below the minimum standards of subsistence appropriate to each society, or the absence of enough money to secure life’s necessities. The latter is measured by comparing the condition of those at the bottom of the society with the other segments of the population. It is does a matter of subject to definition then of objective conditions.

Poverty is determined by the standards that exist within a society. Miller and Roby have said that in this approach poverty is sharply regarded as inequality. from a sociological point of view this definition is more important in term of the impact which inequality of income has on the life situation and life chances of the poor. absolute poverty can be reduced by putting money into the hands of the poor but inequality cannot be solved by moving people above a certain relative line.

As long as there are people at the bottom of the income scale, they are in some way poor. Such a condition will continue to exist as long as we have social stratification.

Harrington define poverty with reference to deprivation. According to him, It is the deprivation of those minimal levels of food, health, housing, education and recreation which are compatible with the contemporary technology beliefs and values of a particular society.

Rein identifies three elements of poverty

  1. Subsistence
  2. Inequality
  3. Externality

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