ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Need to Be Heard

Voices of the Poor: Crying Out for Change by Deepa Narayan, Robert Chambers, Meera K Shah, Patti Petesch; Oxford University Press, 2000; pp 314

Estimation of District Income and Poverty in Indian States

For the preparation of statewise Human Development Reports (HDR), difficult issues related to income and poverty estimates at the district level first need to be sorted out. While norms for national accounts and macro data systems are set by the Planning Commission, the need for information based on local understanding has gained further urgency with the setting up of District Planning Committees in all states. HDR computing efforts have thrown up many issues of data - both of a conceptual nature and also of availability. This paper looks at these constraints as they were discussed at a workshop and how participants sought to address these in connection with income and poverty estimates.

Land Reforms, Productivity and Farm Size

Real productivity of small farms has been found to be higher than that of large holdings. So much so that institutions such as the World Bank now propagate the view that redistribution of land to small farmers would lead to greater overall productivity. A compelling reason, if one were needed, to hasten the process of land reform in India.

Agricultural Growth, Employment and Poverty

Interdependencies in the food and labour markets are important for the development process. A strategy combining promotion of agricultural growth, productive non-farm employment and high levels of social development would be needed for labour-intensive growth in rural areas. There should also be substantial investment in human resource development for enhancing people's inherent earning capacity. The aim thus would be the generation of self-reliant employment.

Adivasis of South Orissa

The recent starvation deaths may have focused the limelight once more on Orissa's adivasis and triggered off a spate of developmental schemes. But for the adivasis, deprivation and poverty have been their lot for decades, bereft as they are of even basic necessities like food, minimal education and electricity.

Has Poverty Declined in India in the 1990s?

The issue of poverty reduction in India has been a subject of debate for long. Following the initiation of economic reforms in 1991 the issue has gained added importance in that the question being asked is, has growth trickled down. The answer to the question has depended on the data used, and which data who has used has largely been guided by faith. Believers in National Sample Survey (NSS) hold that poverty has not come down whereas nonbelievers hold that poverty has come down rapidly in the 1990s.

Jagatpur Revisited

Jagatpur 1977-97: Poverty and Social Change in Rural Bangladesh by Kamal Siddiqui; The University Press, Dhaka, 2000; pp xxviii + 476, Taka 550.

Employment and Poverty in 1990s

The release of the Provisional Population Totals based on Population Census 2001 necessitates revisions in the estimates of population and of workforce for 1993-94 and 1999-2000 and hence also in the estimates of labour productivity. Besides carrying out the necessary revisions in the size of the workforce (and in labour productivity), this paper offers a detailed industrial distribution of the workforce as well as an occupation distribution of the workforce based on the additional tables now available from the NSS 55th Round Employment-Unemployment Survey.

Poverty Database in Education

In the light of consistent and strong relationships between poverty and education, this paper looks at the database in education to find out to what extent it reflects the poverty of school children. An exercise at reducing poverty should begin with monitoring, collating and consolidating poverty data among school children, which could serve as an initial step in addressing overarching issues related to poverty at macro levels.

Food Poverty and Consumption among Landless Labour Households

In this study of food insecurity among India's poor, the food intake of landless agricultural labour households was measured twice, to find variations between slack and peak seasons. Within and between wet and dry villages the 'caste' differences in food intake between backward castes (BCs) and scheduled castes (SCs) were examined. Findings showed that the majority of sample households survived on cereals, and had only one main meal per day, a stark indicator of food insecurity. Female-headed households were the most adversely affected 'poverty group' in the study villages irrespective of caste. The landless peoples' lack of basic needs (clothing, shelter, household equipment, and health care) revealed much more of their utter destitution than conventional food intake.

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