Poverty trap refers to a mechanism which does not allow the poor to get out of their state of poverty. It is a sort of a vicious cycle in which one gets trapped and this cycle ensures that the person stays in that position and is unable to get out of it. We generally find a poverty trap in developing or underdeveloped countries. This is due to the limited access that people have in such countries to the capital, the accumulation of which can help them escape this poverty trap. In order to get out of the poverty trap, those in the condition of poverty need to earn a significant amount of capital in order to escape this.
However, the cycle continues due to the fact that people already poor lack the capacity to acquire this capital (lack of opportunities to access the capital) or create this capital for themselves. This happens due to a number of reasons, firstly, due to the lack of access to opportunities of better education; this is one of the most obvious reasons, we see that those who are able to attain good education are more likely to get jobs that are high paying as opposed to those who are unable to attain good education, here we see that what Pierre Bourdieu said of the creation of capital through education holds true, it is only those who are already at the higher strata of the society are the ones who attain quality education and are able to produce the cultural capital and maintain their social positions.
Another reason is the lack of jobs, this is especially true of the places where there is a dense population. In general, in the sections of the societies that are relatively poor the expenses of the goods and services, especially healthcare, is not always affordable. Due to the lack of sanitation in these areas, there is an increase in the spread of diseases e.g. we can see in the case of women there are a number of diseases such as urinary tract infections, yeast infections or hepatitis B or even the risk of cervical cancer, this is mainly due to a lack of menstrual hygiene, common among those living in the conditions of poverty. People living in such areas do not have access to proper healthcare facilities, insurance, etc. Poor health makes it difficult to be a part of the workforce, in cases what is earned often is spent on healthcare or other expenditure such as repairing of houses, thus leaving very little to save. They earn just enough to invest in the required expenditure and thus are unable to save enough to create greater capital in the future. Such situations we also see are true in India which is a developing country.
People can escape the poverty trap if there is a planned investment in the economy of the country to which people belong, this will help them earn and be employed, this is done through the creation of jobs.
Another way is through providing good quality education, one such step undertaken by the government of India was the inclusion of the Right to Education Act in 2009 in the constitution which held that it was necessary for all the children between the ages 6 to 14 years to get education, free and compulsory education. However, even today not all get an education as the parents, especially of the poor think that the more people that they have as a part of the labor force the better it is.
Another way is to create more transparency in the government expenditure, this will reduce the chances of the government being corrupt and actually investing in what they take the money for.
📣 The Sociology group is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@sociologygroup) and stay updated with the latest Posts