Vulnerable Groups 

  • Social groups, which are most vulnerable to poverty are Scheduled caste and Scheduled tribe households.

  • Similarly, among the economic groups, the most vulnerable groups are the rural agricultural labor households and the urban casual labor households.

  • The double disadvantage of being a landless casual wage labor household in the socially disadvantaged social groups of the scheduled caste or the scheduled tribe population highlights the seriousness of the problem.

  • Some recent studies have shown that except for the scheduled tribe households , all the other three groups (i.e. scheduled castes, rural agricultural laborers, and urban casual labor households) have seen a decline in poverty in the 1990s.

  • In poor families all suffer, but some suffer more than others. In some cases, women, elderly people, and female infants are denied equal access to resources available to the family.


Story of Sivaraman 

Sivaraman lives in a small village near Karur town in Tamil Nadu. Karur is famous for its handloom and powerloom fabrics . There are 100 families in the village. Sivaraman an Aryunthathiyar (cobbler) by caste now works as an agricultural laborer for Rs 160 per day . But that’s only for five to six months in a year. At other times, he does odd jobs in the town. His wife Sasikala works with him . But she can rarely find work these days, and even if she does, she’s paid Rs 100 per day for the same work that Sivaraman does. There are eight members in the family . Sivaraman’s 65-year-old widowed mother is ill and needs to be helped with her daily chores. He has a 25-year -old unmarried sister and four children aged between 1 year to 16 years. Three of them are girls, the youngest is a son. None of the girls go to school. Buying books and other things for school-going girls is a luxury he cannot afford. Also, he has to get them married at some point in time so he doesn’t want to spend on their education now. His mother has lost interest in life and is just waiting to die someday. His sister and elder daughter take care of the household. Sivaraman plans to send his son to school when he comes of age. His unmarried sister does not get along with his wife. Sasikala finds her a burden but Sivaraman can’t find a suitable groom due to a lack of money. Although the family has difficulty arranging two meals a day, Sivaraman manages to buy milk once in a while, but only for his son.

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Davneet Singh

Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 14 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.