Poverty Assessment for Reorienting Poverty Alleviation Programmes in the Forest Fringe Area of Madhya Pradesh, India

Published date01 June 2021
Date01 June 2021
Subject MatterArticles
Poverty Assessment
for Reorienting
Poverty Alleviation
Programmes in the
Forest Fringe Area of
Madhya Pradesh, India
Ram Nayan Yadava1 and Bhaskar Sinha1
The present study attempts to assess poverty using two commonly used indices
namely Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI) and Progress out of Deprivation Index
(PDI or DI) of 325 households, spread in twenty-nine villages of Hoshangabad
and Mandla districts of Madhya Pradesh, India. The analysis of PPI and PDI scores
showed that the poverty of a household/community decreases as their level of
the economy, occupation and education improve, irrespective of their social
class to which the household/community belongs. With this finding, it is rec-
ommended that prioritisation of the beneficiaries of programmes and policies
related to poverty eradication in the forest fringe villages should not be based
on caste or social class, but on household’s occupation, economy and education.
Poverty, Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI), Progress out of Deprivation Index
(PDI), Forest Fringe Villages
The world population has reached seven billion, and approximately 70% of them
are residing in developing countries. The Food and Agriculture Organization
(FAO) of United Nations estimates that about 0.8 billion people were suffering
Indian Journal of Public
67(2) 214–236, 2021
© 2021 IIPA
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/00195561211026628
1 Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, India.
Corresponding author:
Ram Nayan Yadava, Fellow, Indian Institute of Forest Management, Nehru Nagar, Bhopal 462003,
Madhya Pradesh, India.
E-mail: rny.nayan@gmail.com
Yadava and Sinha 215
from chronic under nourishment in 2014–2016, and they were mainly from the
developing countries (Riches, 2016).
Many developing countries, including India, in this regard, have been imple-
menting various programmes and policies related to poverty eradication. Majority
of such programmes are supported through internal financial mechanism and a
few from external aid from different international agencies (Department of
Economic and Social Affairs, 2013). The Government of India has always consid-
ered poverty alleviation as an integral part of their development agenda. However,
a large population of the country is still threatened by severe poverty. According
to the criterion of poverty line given by the Government of India, 27.5% of the
population was living below the poverty line in 2004–2005, down from 51.3% in
1977–1978, and 36% in 1993–1994 which further reduced to about 13% in 2015
(Ministry of Finance, 2017). However, World Bank estimated that 41.6% of the
total Indian population lived under the international poverty line of $1.25 per day
(PPP) in 2008, reduced from 60% in 1981 (Chen & Ravallion, 2010).
Moreover, the large proportion of poor living below the poverty line is con-
centrated in rural areas, and 80% of these rural poor belong to Scheduled Castes
(SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) (Dollar & Kraay, 2001). The primary causes of
rural poverty in India are attributed to the lack of access to productive assets and
financial resources, high levels of illiteracy, inadequate health care and extremely
limited access to social services (Ravallion & Datt, 1995). The higher number
of poor in India is confined to the state of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar
Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal (Deshmukh &
Joseph, 2010). Furthermore, the state of Madhya Pradesh has a large population
of tribal communities, who are residing in and around the forests, and largely
dependent on the forest resources for their livelihoods. With an increase in the
frequency of natural disasters and degradation of natural resources due to human
pressure, these communities are becoming more vulnerable (Nadkarni, 2000;
Yadava & Sinha, 2020).
The government introduced the concept of poverty line to monitor the progress
of their development programmes/strategies, with an aim to improve the efficiency
of implementation (Panagariya & Mukim, 2014). Some of the current strategies/
programmes (like MGNREGA) for poverty reduction are structured to improve
(a) access to physical infrastructure (roads, electricity, and irrigation); (b) access
to economic safety and infrastructure (banking, employment and livelihood) and
(c) access to social security and support (education, health and food safety).
However, considering the size of rural poor population in India and the impact
of different programmes, still much remains to be done to bring prosperity to
rural areas (Bandyopadhyay, 2007). Some other e-steps taken by the government
to empower people include decentralisation of governance through creation of
Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), and self-employment programmes through
micro credit. These programmes have been effective and have involved a large
number of people. However, the condition of people engaged in agriculture is criti-
cal and they need coordinated support to exit from poverty, which can be achieved
by creating productive assets, skill training and employment (Bayineni, 2006).
India achieved robust economic growth in the last decade; however, the
divide between rich and poor is not narrowing proportionately (Dev, 2016).

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