Furthering the concept of inclusive development
The vision towards realising a ‘New India’ as put forward by PM Narendra Modi has achieved a new found momentum. With poverty alleviation forming the crux of the vision, the government led by PM Modi has been making rapid strides in eliminating poverty from the country. A recent report titled the ‘The start of a new poverty narrative’ published by an US think tank Brookings Institution, with data drawn from the World Data lab prepared by the World Bank, shows that India has achieved a significant progress in combating poverty. The report highlights that the number of Indians living in abject poverty has been falling rapidly from 125 million in 2016 to 75 million today with a further fall to 20 million by 2022. 
Identifying extreme poverty as living on less than Rs 130 .77 per day with reference to income per capita, India has made remarkable progress in reducing absolute poverty. With close to ‘270 million people being poor where 1 in every five Indians was poor’ according to the World Bank data produced in 2011 , the number today stands at a glowing ‘ 70 million ‘. Besides, the faster reduction rate in poverty where close to ’44 Indians come out of extreme poverty every minute’ , the decline in percentage in terms of absolute poverty has been significant. From registering a high ’21.2 %’ at the international poverty line in 2011, the percentage of people deprived in terms of absolute poverty stands today at mere ‘5.2 % of India’s total population ‘.  Further, according to the World Poverty clock that provides real-time poverty estimates until 2030, shows that ‘India is currently on track of eliminating poverty by 2030’ in tandem with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal of elimination of extreme poverty by 2030.
The benchmark projections of India’s poverty reduction could be attributed to a combination of high GDP growth along with high allocation and spending for the government’s pro-poor polices. With a strong economic growth pegged at 7.5 % in the present year with optimistic projections in the coming years, the government’s approach towards poverty alleviation has been a comprehensive program. The government led by PM Modi has stressed on the concept of inclusive development that made the government’s strategy of poverty alleviation a ‘Jan Andolan’ (mass movement).
Subsumed under the principle of ‘Antyodaya’ which translates into ‘empowering of the last man’ the government in the past four years has undertaken striking reforms in multiple sectors spanning across economy, manufacturing , health, nutrition among others.
A noteworthy aspect of the government’s initiatives to alleviate poverty in the last four years is to reassess poverty eradication from not merely monetary dimension, but also from non-monetary dimensions. These include subjective qualitative indicators including health, standard of living, and education among others where the initiatives have been instrumental in rescuing people from the throes of poverty.
Given below are links to excerpts of beneficiaries who state how the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and Ujjwala Yojana have transformed their lives for the better.
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Gramin: Gorabai of Madhya Pradesh provides an account of her experience
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana: Bramha Devi of Etawah shares her experience
The success of the government’s drive to eradicate poverty as could be deduced from the above testimonies also hinges on the government’s push towards achieving greater transparency and stronger compliance with the government machinery. This is exemplified through the Direct Benefit Transfer scheme, aimed at transferring benefits directly to the recipients’ bank accounts that was subsequently recognised as the world‘s largest cash transfer program.
In conclusion one could aptly concede that both at the policy level and in terms of implementation the government led by PM Narendra Modi has ensured the trickle- down effect of the government schemes true to its mandate of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. This ensures that the clarion call given by PM Modi to build a ‘New India’ free of poverty by 2022 is rapidly moving towards the path of fruition.
This blog has been contributed by a volunteer.