Poverty is a chief target of socialism . It can be defined as a social phenomenon in which a section of society is unable to get even its basic necessities of life. When a substantial segment of a society is deprived of the minimum level living (to use the phrase of classical economist “ a bare subsistence level”) that society is said to be plagued by mass of poverty.
Poverty is sheer want of food for growing a family, want of clothes,want of a shelter, and want of medical help. Poverty is still prevalent among millions of people in India. People living in abject poverty constitute 40 to 50% of total population of India. The existence of mass poverty on such a large scale is incompatible with the vision of an advanced, prosperous democratic, egalitarian and just society implied in the concept of socialistic pattern of development. Despite the implementation of several plans and programs, poverty seems to have expanded. The growth strategy adopted by the planners left more than two-fifth of the population below the poverty line. Glaring inequalities of wealth and income, both in urban and rural areas, industrial and agricultural sectors, resulting in vast difference in the standards of living of people were quite noticeable. The countries of the Third world exhibit invariably the existence of mass poverty, although pockets of poverty exist even in the developed countries of Europe and America.
Even Gandhi’s hopes have not been fulfilled. In spite of our plans, “Garibi Hatao(remove poverty)”- oriented programs, Green revolution etc., we have created only a few islands of prosperity in an ocean of poverty. In our cities, we are able to see skyscrapers and palatial buildings side by side with the ramshackle houses and huts of poor. We are able to see a direct correlation between those getting poorer and those getting richer.
Indiscriminate mechanization will result in much smaller increases of of employment in comparison
with the amount of investment undertaken. The factors proposed by the country’s political leaders and many academies to lead the country out of stark poverty are: higher investment, improved health and spread of education. But these are in turn influenced by poverty to a great extent and cannot be expected to eradicate it.