Managing Change in the Twenty First Century
Chapter 6: Poverty and Human Development in the Asian States
6. Poverty and human development in the Asian states The term poverty, as used here, does not refer to the lack of supply of foods and other basic necessities which an individual or a family wants to purchase but to the lack of means at the disposal of a person or a family to procure foods, clothes, shelter, healthcare, education and other items of necessity (Sen, 1981). It then becomes the responsibility of every state to make these items of necessity available to people living under such poverty. However, even those who have the means to acquire foods and other necessities may also be prevented from acquiring those necessities by unfriendly social and political institutions, cadres of the political party running the government in a democracy like India, Zimbabwe and in other countries. Examples are women and adolescent girls in general, tribals, low-caste family members (in several provinces in India), and members of religious minorities (in Pakistan, Afghanistan and several other countries in the Middle East)1 (The Statesman Weekly, 2011). This is a kind of deprivation which is an important dimension of poverty. Poverty in the form of extreme deprivation is also evident in poor people’s lack of political power and voice (particularly of women) and in their vulnerability to sickness, economic dislocation resulting from sudden loss of jobs, personal violence (particularly against women) and natural disasters. Powerlessness and voicelessness, which together constitute the extreme form of deprivation, can keep the state or a particular province in a federal...
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