Causes of Poverty
The British policies during the colonial rule were not in favour of the local economy. Traditional handicrafts declined and not much of the modern industries could develop during that period. This is considered to be a major reason for abject poverty in India at the time of independence.
The low growth rate persisted till 1980s. This was coupled with a high growth rate in population and resulted in a higher number of poor.
Green Revolution helped in reviving the agricultural sector but its effect was limited to certain parts of the country; mainly in Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh.
The secondary sector did not generate enough employment opportunties. This forced many rural migrants to go for unskilled works.
Inequality of income is another major reason of poverty in India. In spite of land reform initiatives, a major portion of land is in the hands of a selected few and a large portion of farmers are landless.
There are many socio-cultural factors which also contribute to poverty. An average Indian has to spend huge amount on marriage and other rituals because of socio-cultural pressure. This creates a heavy drain on savings.