October 17: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Every year, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is marked on October 17 by the United Nations. This year, the day is observed under the theme

Theme: Acting together to achieve social and environmental justice for all


The day was declared as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty in 1992. In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human rights was signed in Paris. It was signed to honour the victims of poverty, hunger and violence. It was the first signed where people came together to agree that poverty is a violation of human rights. The United Nations defines poverty as earning less than 1.9 USD a day.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal aims to end poverty by 2030. Poverty is one among the Millennium Development Goal.

Millennium Development Goal

The eight contributors of Millennium Development Goal are inequality in education, poverty and hunger, gender inequality, child mortality, poor maternal health, infectious diseases, changing environment and unsustainable development.

Poverty in India

According to National Poverty Line in 2011, around 21.9% of population are below poverty. The current national poverty line of India is Rs 1,059 per month in rural areas and Rs 1,286 per month in urban areas.

The poverty estimation in India is based on consumption expenditure and not on income levels. Several committees have determined poverty line of the country. They are as follows

  • Alagh Committee was established in 1979. It determined the minimum daily requirement for an adult as 2400 to 2100 calories
  • The other committees that estimated poverty in India were Lakdawala Committee in 1993, Rangarajan Committee in 2012, Tendulkar Committee in 20019.
  • The Rangarajan committee that submitted its report in 2014 estimated poverty line as Rs 1,407 per month in urban areas and Rs 972 per month in rural areas. According to Rangarajan Committee, there are 454 million people under pverty in India.

According to the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index, 2018 of the United Nations, poverty rate of India halved from 55% to 28% in 10-year period, that is, between 2006-16.




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  • Sejal Sharma

    Are these committees still working?
    what according to them is current situation of poverty in India?

  • RM

    They were constituted earlier to formulate methodology for poverty estimation.

    NITI is working on these estimates but no report yet.

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