Economically Weaker Sections: Understanding Poverty and Inequality Economically Weaker Sections: Understanding Poverty and Inequality

Economically Weaker Sections: Understanding Poverty and Inequality

Every country in the world has groups of people who face the impossibility of caring for the most important needs of their survival and well-being. They are called poor or deprived from economic, educational and health points of view. Although the statistics show that the number of people who are below the poverty line is lower compared to the past years, a very high percentage of people are still struggling and come across various socioeconomic problems.

What Defines Economic Weakness?

Economic Weakness - Economically Weaker Sections
Source: Unsplash

The word “economically weaker sections” usually refers to individuals and households whose incomes are below the poverty line, determined by law or the constitution. Accordingly, poverty comprises various complex dimensions that go way beyond the wealth-constrained level of the economy.

Instead, it is a multi-dimensional phenomenon that includes problems of severe lack of basic human necessities, such as education, healthcare, housing, sanitation, etc., which are crucial for having decent living standards.

Aspects And Factors Contributing To The Economically Weaker Sections

Aspects and Factors Contributing to the Economically Weaker Section
Source: pixabay

Various factors contribute to economic weakness, and they often intersect and reinforce one another:

1. Lack Of Employment Opportunities:

People being out of a job or having one in underpaid work give an example of the vicious circle that poverty can have, making it hard for individuals to earn enough to help themselves and their families.

2. Low Education Levels:

Limited access to a good education can also affect the employment prospects of one’s generation and the intergenerational poverty cycle. Low-income households may force children to exit this education system by working in addition to the household income.

3. Poor Health And Nutrition:

Through aspects such as nutrition deficiency, unclean water, and restrained access to medical care, people cannot be kept in good health; hence, productivity suffers, and more money is needed, thereby entering a vicious circle.

4. Marginalization And Discrimination:

For example, certain groups like ethnic minorities, including women and persons with disabilities, are unlikely to escape stigmatization and social outcasting, thereby making their economic situation worse.

5. Lack Of Assets And Resources:

The poor sections of society are usually stranded regarding productive resources, including land, credit, and technology. As a result, their economic growth is hampered because they are limited in establishing their source of income.

6. Geographic Isolation:

The lack of basic infrastructure, services, and economic opportunities in remote zones severely affects residents’ lives, making it hard for them to improve their living standards.

Consequences Of Economic Weakness

Consequences of Economic Weakness
Source: Unsplash

The consequences of economic weakness are far-reaching and can have a ripple effect on individuals, communities, and societies:

1. Poor Health And Nutrition:

Lack of access to health services, clean water, and high-caloric carbohydrate diets could favour a higher incidence of preventable diseases, malnutrition, and deaths.

2. Limited Educational Attainment:

Children from poor and struggling families are more likely to quit school because of financial difficulties and the need to contribute to the running of a household, which makes it just as difficult for the next generations to break out of that cycle.

3. Social Exclusion And Marginalization:

It is also possible for economically weaker sections to fall prey to prejudice and marginalization, thereby depriving them of the chances and complete equitable participation.

4. Environmental Degradation:

Poverty can be one of the factors leading people to overexploit natural resources, such as deforestation, soil degradation, and other forms of environmental degradation, and then poverty can become more severe.

5. Vulnerability To Shocks:

Compared to the wealthy, the economically disadvantaged groups, who have limited resources and safety nets, are subjected to all sorts of adverse impacts of upswings and downswings and other crises, which may make their economic status worse and may push them farther into poverty.

Addressing Economic Weakness:

Addressing Economic Weakness
Source: Pexels

Tackling economic weakness requires a comprehensive and multi-pronged approach that addresses the various dimensions of poverty:

6. Inclusive Economic Growth:

Promoting inclusive economic growth characterized by the provision of high-quality jobs, facilitating entrepreneurship, and ensuring that every person has access to productive resources like land and housing, among other things, may ensure poverty alleviation.

7. Investment In Human Capital:

Access to quality education, health care, and financial skills is a potential tool for reducing the poverty income cycle and provides the basis for improving livelihoods.

8. Social Protection Programs:

Unlike in previous times, which were characterized by insufficient safety nets, today, we have well-designed schemes such as cash transfer programs, food subsidies, and public jobs that can offer protection against economic fluctuations and enable households to satisfy their basic subsistence needs.

Role Of Governments And International Cooperation

United Nations
Source: Unsplash

The governments are the key players in creating a conducive environment for poverty reduction by adopting the right economic policies, investing in social protection programs and supplying essential services. Nevertheless, this should be done cooperatively, and the support of the international community, especially for developing countries with a shortage of resources, is also a must.

1. Social Assistance Programs:

Social security payments, food stipends and housing aids are meant to give short-term help to the most vulnerable people.

2. Skill Development And Employment Generation:

Through training courses and programs that boost employability, people from disadvantaged backgrounds can acquire the skills to secure a stable job and sustainable livelihoods.

3. Education And Healthcare Initiatives:

Community-based education, as well as health centres, help offer a hand-up to the poor population to lead a better and more prosperous life.

4. Financial Inclusion:

Last but not least, financial literacy and microfinance programs would be the essential tools for the less economically well-off classes, which will also craft platforms to participate in income-producing activities and asset-building.

The UN, World Bank, and other relevant non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are the main actors in making the agenda of sustainable development more feasible. They provide technical assistance and easy access to resources and empower communities that are mostly affected by poverty worldwide.

Challenges And Roadblocks:

Although the government has performed tremendously in uplifting the poorer parts of the country, various hindrances have slowed the implementation of interventions and made its effectiveness insignificant. These challenges include:

1. Bureaucratic Hurdles:

Complicated procedures and bureaucratic red tape are usually the barriers to access to welfare benefits and services for the EWS.

2. Inadequate Implementation:

Poor planning, implementation and sunshine are the major forces that have made some welfare programs have little effect on the targeted population due to leakages and inefficiencies.

3. Social Stigma:

Discrimination and stigmatization are the reasons for the direct loss of contact between the economically disadvantaged members of society and the country’s main structures.

4. Vulnerability To External Shocks:

Those who are less prosperous and deprived are naturally impacted first when facing a stagnant economy, natural disasters, or global crises, as their ordinary lives are only getting worse.

Way Forward:

Way Forward
Source: Pexels

To ease the splits among underprivileged classes, a holistic mechanism that consists of developing targeted programs, policymaking and community participation is necessary. Some strategies for effectively addressing the issue include: There are several methods to deal with the problem effectively, such as:

1. Strengthening Social Safety Nets:

The scale and influence of social assistance programs are essential factors as the poor groups of society are familiarized with the safety net.

2. Promoting Inclusive Growth:

The income inequalities and promulgation of less favoured economic growth horrors these upper discrimination components must be mitigated.

3. Empowering Communities:

The role of community-based programs is of great importance, as these enable people and communities to be involved in policymaking with a better chance of being the owners of their developments.

4. Addressing Structural Barriers:

To fully understand the systemic factors that keep people from gaining economic stability, combat the widespread issues of discrimination, insufficient infrastructure, and absence of adequate services would be imperative.

5. Fostering International Cooperation:

Global cooperation and the exchange of best practices are the bedrock of the design and effectiveness of strategies aimed at achieving the macroeconomic goals of eradicating poverty and elevating social status.


Combatting the plight of the economically neglected classes is not just an issue of moral standing but also of economic necessity. Although social justice is at stake, the problem is more fundamental: the degree of humanity. It is an indispensable precondition that must be upheld in pursuing the sustainable and equitable performance model

The strategy of inclusive growth, together with the investment in human strength and empowering people while working on environmental sustainability, will create a condition where no one is left behind and nobody is oppressed. Such a condition will be characterized by a just environment where everybody has the chance and means to have a dignified life.

Last Updated on by Anoushka


  • Sanjana01

    Sanjana is an avid reader, writer, and an adventure seeker with a unique perspective on language and an unwavering commitment to precision. Eager to immerse herself in the dynamic world of editing, she brings a youthful energy to the craft. Sanjana's keen eye for detail and his genuine love for language positions him as a promising editor, ready to refine and elevate written content. Education MA in Political Science & BA in Political Science and Economics

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