According to Teacher Training Mumbai, “Poverty is that condition in which a person either because of inadequate income or unwise expenditure, does not maintain a scale of living high enough to provide for his physical and mental efficiency and to enable him and his natural dependents of function usefully according to the standards of society of which he is a member.” Thus poverty is a condition of extremely lowers standards of living.
Causes of Poverty
1. Personal Causes: No one can deny the importance of personal capacity, efforts and characteristics in the economic status of the person. The Important personal causes of poverty are as follows:
Due to sickness while a man is unable to work and his income decreases, a major portion of his income is also spent on the cure of the disease. Thus, Sickness increases poverty and poverty also increase sickness.
ii) Mental Disease:
Due to mental disease also a person becomes incapable of doing anything. This decrease his income and increase poverty. It is difficult to maintain the balance of the mind in a state of utter poverty.
Poverty and illiteracy are mutually related. Illiteracy increases poverty since the capacity to earn of an illiterate person is very low. On the other hand, many persons are compelled to remain illiterate.
2. Geographical Causes: The following geographical causes as per Early Childhood Programare also responsible for increasing poverty-
i) Unfavourable climate and weather:
Favourable climate and weather is very much necessary for work as well as production of both agriculture and industrial.
ii) Absence of Natural resource:
In the absence of natural resources the inhabitants of the desert, high mountains, extremely hoy and extremely col generally remain poor.
iii) Natural calamities :
Besides unfavourable climate and weather, natural calamities such as typhoons, floods, and earthquakes causes serious damages to poverty and agriculture. For Example, In India, the absence of timely excessive or deficient rains cause serious damage to agriculture.
Pests are a major cause of damage to agriculture and immovable property such as books, furniture etc.
3. Economic causes:
i) Agriculture causes:
Absence of sufficient manure, improvedtools, implements and machines, sufficient means of irrigation and also constant fragmentation of land are some important agriculture causes which increase the poverty among the people of the agriculture class.
ii) Unequal distribution:
Even if production is sufficient, millions of farmers and labours remain poor in the country where distributions of wealth is unequal.
iii) Economic depression:
It causes decreasing trade and commerce, and factories and unemployment of millions of labourers and small traders.
It is the most serious economic cause of poverty. In India it is a major cause of the lower standard of living of the people both in urban and rural.
4. Social causes:
i) Faulty educational systems:
An important social cause of poverty is faulty educational systems. In India thousands of educated persons are unemployed and lead a life of poverty. Another defect is high cost of education and absence of sufficient scholarships.
ii) Faulty and insufficient housing:
Due to this millions of people are forced to live in dirty and unhealthy slums. This reduces their capacity to work.
iii) Absence of training in home science:
Mismanagement of household is a serious cause of poverty everywhere. This is because of absence of training to women in home-science.
The above causes differ from man to man and society to society. But the above mentioned are the important causes of Poverty.