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Drivers of Poverty Alleviation Process: Empirical Study of Community Based Organizations from India

Sapovadia, Vrajlal and Patel, Akash (2013): Drivers of Poverty Alleviation Process: Empirical Study of Community Based Organizations from India.

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Abstract

Poverty is a disease across the world and a chronic disease in the developing countries like India. Just less than 3 years away from Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) deadline of 2015, 38% people of the total population of 1020 million are below poverty line in 2013. India reduced multidimensional poverty significantly between 1999 and 2006, but the poverty reduction was uneven across the states and social groups. India will take another 41 years to reduce poverty to level zero if the poverty reduction rate and other compelling factors remain constant . Participation and inclusion are central to a new approach to poverty reduction. Participation in economic activities coupled with inclusive growth is paramount to the process of poverty reduction programs. Rather than merely cash transfer schemes and unemployment allowances, the governments are emphasizing on framing policies to create institutions, systems and processes to bring poor people in economic participation. Policies are enabling civil societies and small & medium size enterprises to become participative in poverty reduction programs through empowering communities. Community based organizations like cooperatives, special companies, societies, trust, Self Help Group (SHG) are ideal instruments in such strategy. Such organizations have proven to be key organizational form in building new models to combat social exclusion and poverty. Community based organizations may be self initiated or supported through NGOs, business and government. The organizations may be formally registered as cooperative society or public trust or society under Society Registration Act 1860 or company under Companies Act 1956 or may be informal like Self-Help-Group (SHG). Cooperatives, as a socio-economic business enterprise empower people by enabling even the poorest segments of the population to participate in economic progress; they create job opportunities for those who have skills but little or no capital; and they provide protection by organizing mutual help in communities. NGOs, Trusts and Sicieties allow creating a platform for development initiatives and bringing together a range of community to foster opportunities for decent work and social inclusion. The members learn from each other, innovate together and, by increasing control over livelihoods, restore the dignity that the experience of poverty destroys. India is home of 500,000 cooperatives and similar number of other type of community based organizations. Many of them are engaged in helping poor community.

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