Government Initiatives to Eradicate Poverty

Government Initiatives to Eradicate Poverty

Poverty has been a major impediment to our country’s economic growth. This article covers poverty alleviation programs in India that were initiated by the government to improve people’s conditions.

Poverty is the state of extreme economic poorness, wherein the person does not have enough money to fulfill basic needs such as food, cloth, and shelter. People who live in poverty have little to no access to proper healthcare, education, clean water, and other basic human rights. For any country to progress, its poverty levels should be low, i.e. the number of people living in poverty should be as low as possible. It improves the overall quality of standard of living in the country. Developed countries like America, England, France, etc have very little poverty. India, unfortunately, has high poverty levels and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made it worse by pushing thousands of people below the poverty line. This article covers government initiatives undertaken to combat poverty in India.

Poverty Alleviation

Poverty is truly one of the biggest problems that any country can face. Since people who are living in poverty have no means to take care of themselves, it becomes the government’s responsibility to ensure that they get necessities and a right to live with dignity. The World Bank has set a limit of $1.9 per day as the poverty line. Anybody who earns less than that is considered to live in poverty.

Over 200 million people in India are living in poverty. In such a case, the Indian government has launched several poverty alleviation programs in India over the years.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana – Launched in the year 2014 by the Ministry of Finance, PMJDY aims to promote financial inclusion by encouraging people to open their bank accounts and get access to banking and financial services. Through this, subsidies, insurance, pensions, etc are easily transferred to beneficiaries

National Food Security Mission – Launched in the year 2007 by the Ministry of Agriculture, this program was aimed at increasing crop production by introducing sustainable measures in traditional agricultural practices

National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) – Launched in the year 2011 by the Ministry of Rural Development in association with the World Bank, this is one of the most special poverty alleviation programs. The objective of NRLM is to empower the poorest of the poor to be able to access financial services and increase income. It not only makes them financially more independent but also provides some level of social security

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) – Launched in the year 2005 by the Ministry of Rural Development, this is one of the most celebrated government initiatives for poverty in India. Under this act, a beneficiary is entitled to get 100 days of guaranteed employment every year. One person from one household is entitled to avail of the benefits of this scheme. This scheme targets unemployment, which is one of the root causes of poverty. Under MGNREGA, 33% of the jobs would be reserved for women to encourage women’s empowerment. Moreover, if a person cannot be provided with a job under the scheme, then he/she can claim the daily unemployment allowance from the government

Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) – It is a restructured scheme and was earlier called Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY). It was launched in 2016 to provide housing to everyone in rural India. The initial target was to provide housing to all in 2022. The house should have all the required facilities like running water, electricity, gas connection, toilets, etc

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) – Launched in 2016 by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, this scheme is meant to provide LPG connections to rural households so that women do not have to smoke in soot and smoke in the kitchen by burning firewood. The beneficiaries of this scheme can only be women living in poverty.

Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan (PM-SYM) – Launched in 2019 by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, it is one of the poverty alleviation programs that is meant for the protection of old age people and workers employed in the unorganised sector. It can be availed by people having a monthly income of less than or up to Rs 15000. The beneficiaries are entitled to a guaranteed pension of Rs 3000 per month

Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) – Launched in 2000, it is meant to provide food security to people living below the poverty line. One of the major problems faced by poor people is no access to safe food. Under this scheme, people can get wheat and rice for as low as Rs 2/kg and Rs 3/kg respectively. Millions of families get rations from government-designated ration shops under this scheme

Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana – Launched in 2015 by the Ministry of Finance, this program is aimed to provide insurance to underprivileged people. Anybody with a bank account between the age of 18 to 70 years can avail of this scheme. Rs. 2 lakh is provided to the beneficiary’s family in case of his death due to an accident and Rs. 1 lakh is provided in case of any disability arising due to an accident


Poverty alleviation programs are a noble step in the direction to ensure justice and security for all. Through such social programs, the government ensures that a major section of society does not remain underfed and devoid of basic life necessities. Programs have been launched in every vertical – food, housing, pension, gas connection, employment, etc. The basic idea is to empower the beneficiaries and enable them to rise in society.