Estimating Extent and Causes of Poverty Among Schedule Castes in Rural Areas of Punjab

Narinder Deep Singh Jarnail Singh


The present paper highlights the extent and causes of poverty among Schedule castes (SC) which constitute nearly 29 per cent of total population of Punjab state. Multistage purposive cum random sampling technique was adopted for collecting primary data from 150 SC families spread over two blocks of Jalandhar district which has highest SC population of Punjab state. The results showed significant inequalities in terms of income and consumption were observed as the bottom 50 per cent households accounted for 29.52 per cent of the total expenditure, whereas only 20 per cent top households accounted for about 36.64 per cent of the total expenditure made by all the SCs families. On the basis of per capita consumption expenditure as much as 61.90 per cent of the SCs population were below the poverty line. It was highlighted that income based poverty is higher than consumption based poverty among SCs families. Lack of employment for the rural poor, heavy population pressures, high illiteracy, over-reliance on agriculture, high expenditure on social ceremonies or liquor etc. were major causes of poverty among rural SC families in Punjab.

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