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How did political leadership in India address poverty?

Political leadership in India addressed poverty through various welfare schemes, economic reforms, and poverty alleviation programmes.

India's political leadership has taken several steps to address poverty, with varying degrees of success. The Indian government has implemented numerous welfare schemes aimed at providing basic necessities such as food, healthcare, and education to the poor. These include the Public Distribution System (PDS) for food security, the National Health Mission for healthcare services, and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan for universal elementary education.

In addition to welfare schemes, economic reforms have also been a significant part of the strategy to combat poverty. The economic liberalisation of 1991, initiated by then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh, aimed to transform India's economy from a socialist-inspired system to a more market-oriented one. This included reducing government regulations, encouraging foreign direct investment, and reforming the public sector. These reforms have contributed to significant economic growth, which has helped to reduce poverty levels.

Furthermore, the Indian government has launched several poverty alleviation programmes. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), implemented in 2005, guarantees 100 days of wage employment per year to rural households. This has not only provided a source of income for the poor but also created productive assets in rural areas. Similarly, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana aims to provide affordable housing to the urban and rural poor.

However, despite these efforts, poverty remains a significant issue in India. While the poverty rate has decreased over the years, the absolute number of poor people remains high due to the country's large population. Moreover, there are significant disparities in poverty levels across different states and social groups. The effectiveness of poverty alleviation programmes has also been questioned, with issues such as corruption, inefficiency, and inadequate targeting of the poor.

In conclusion, while India's political leadership has made considerable efforts to address poverty, the challenge remains substantial. The complexity of poverty in India requires a multi-faceted approach that not only provides immediate relief to the poor but also addresses the structural issues that perpetuate poverty.

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