July 29, 2021


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Covid Impact: Why poverty-debt problem has started increasing again in rural India


New Delhi
Lucknow’s Asha Devi does not remember that the coronavirus crisis in the last few days (Covid Crisis) how many times have you spent time hungry. In the struggle to feed his family of 7 people, he has to go hungry many times. Due to the second phase of the corona infection in India, the problem of debt and poverty in rural areas has started increasing again.

Asha Devi has mortgaged her land six months back for a loan of ₹20,000. After 6 months, now that she has run out of money, she has stopped buying milk, halved the use of cooking oil and is able to buy pulses every 10th day.

Her husband, who works as a construction worker, no longer has any work and feels that she may now fall into a debt trap. Asha Devi said, “Sometimes I have to go to bed hungry. Last week I was probably hungry for two days.”

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increased debt burden
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced to provide free ration to the poor people of the country, but Asha Devi says that the food grains received by the government are not enough. Corona infection and the lockdown to prevent it had ousted lakhs of people from jobs last year. Many people had gone to their villages due to loss of jobs in cities and due to this the burden of debt is increasing on them.

Same condition of many houses
After interviewing 75 households in 8 villages of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, it has been found that the average income of a family has decreased by 75 percent. Two-thirds of the people have taken loans to run the business. In states like Punjab, people who earn their living by doing wages have returned to their homes due to the covid crisis. They are not even getting work. Many people go to the kiln around their village to ask for work, but even there they are disappointed.

economic recovery
Low incomes and large indebtedness of people in rural areas of India may sabotage the hopes of economic recovery. The government is focusing on boosting economic recovery but economists say private savings and investment may not perform as expected in the current situation.

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Covid Impact: Why poverty-debt problem has started increasing again in rural India