This paper examines the spatial pattern of poverty in India and tries to understand how multiple deprivation leads to reproduction of poverty especially in forest-based economies in the central-eastern parts of the country. This has been attempted in the light of a case study of four villages in Koraput district in Orissa, India.
The analysis indicated spatial concentration of poverty among seven out of the 17 major states, accounting for nearly 78-80 per cent of rural poor in India. It also indicated that 15 regions had remained in the list of the poorest regions over three points of time during 1983 to 1999-00.
The finding that the predominance of forest based areas with high concentration of poverty over a long period of time calls for detailed probing into the extent, pattern, and policy support for ameliorating poverty in these regions. The paper brings out some important policy implications for redressing the situation of chronic poverty in such regions.
The analysis of chronic poverty in a forest-based region in southern Orissa reinstates the fact that chronic poverty in terms of severity and long duration is an overarching reality for almost nine out of ten households in the region. Similarly, it highlights severe deprivation in terms of food consumption, with a significantly large proportion of households consuming about half of the prescribed norm of cereal in-take. Finally, the paper brings out the need for generating a better understanding of the dynamics of forest and development, which would facilitate a shift in the policy perspective for poverty reduction in the state.
Shah, A. Patterns of poverty in remote rural areas: a case study of a forest-based region in Southern Orissa in India. CPRC Working Paper 165. Chronic Poverty Research Centre, London, UK (2010) 30 pp. ISBN 978 1 907288 05 0