UNEMPLOYMENT AND POVERTY
Unemployment has been a serious problem in India for many decades. It naturally leads to poverty. When we got independence 50% of the people were below the line of poverty. Although the government claims that it has been reduced to 36% it is a calculated farce. Even now 50%of the people are below poverty line. Near about 25% are near the line of poverty. In the start of the new century the number is considered sixty crore.
Increase in population results in unemployment. There is a great propaganda to check the population. Still it grows at the rate of 2.4% per year. It means the population doubles in 30 years. Most of the children are born among the poor. These new born too are in the employment market as soon as they are five years of age. They are ready to work even for Rs.5/- a day. In urban areas they get jobs in road side hotels. But in villages they have no employment.
Illiteracy has caused unemployment and poverty directly. Illiterate and ignorant people cannot read newspapers. They remain conservative. They believe that children are gift of god. Thus they do not plan their family. By the time they realize their mistake they have already a dozen children. According to a world bank report 100 crore illiterate people were to enter the 21st century in the world. Out of these 50 crore were expected to be in India alone.
Although officially Zamindari system has been abolished, the landlords exist. More than 50% of the people in rural areas have no land. They have to till the landlord’s land. They are exploited. Many of them become bonded labor. They put their thumb impression on false bonds and work for years on two meals only. This too is because of their ignorance.
To remove unemployment and poverty it is essential to control population. All people in the urban and rural areas should have an access to schools. Even female children should be educated. Land should be redistributed among the poor people. Moreover big industries should be limited. Cottage industries and small scale industries should be started on cooperative lines in all villages. It should be an integrated programme done whole heartedly.
Corrective efforts have already started in certain areas. Maharashtra has taken the lead. The government has decided that after a certain date no one having more than two children would be allowed to contest Panchayat elections. This will check the growth of population and unemployment too. An NGO in Kerala made effort s I the direction of literacy. The results were wonderfully positive. Together with a check on illiteracy indirectly it was a check on population and unemployment too. Even the lowest cadres gained by it. Today a mason gets Rs.300/- a day while just a laborer earns Rs.150/-. They have kept party politics away from their activities. Religious and caste rivalries too remain away from this type of development. Let it be followed in other states too according to their own way. Only non government organizations can solve the population and unemployment problems. We have, at present not to look a Tata, a Birla, an Ambani or a Bill Gates for support. They will be with us when we prove worth of our efforts.