Sunday, 24 October, 2021
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OPINION

Poverty In Nepal



Dixya Poudel

Absolute poverty in Nepal had decreased by 2.2 per cent between 1995 and 2010 AD, stated according to studies. And lately Nepal is making gradual improvements in the collective living standards of its citizens. It has been attributed to the remarkable boost in overseas employment and remittance that have increased significantly in the past two decades. Further, employment opportunities within the nation have also seen a promising growth. And yet, there is a huge gulf between wealthy and poor citizens in Nepal. About 18.7 per cent of its population is living below the poverty line with many living hand-to-mouth.

Like the rest of the world, Nepali society is also divided into different economic classes. Within Nepal, one can find the high income classes abundantly secure in their financial prospects. Consequently, their offspring are guaranteed a financially stable future. The middle class, meanwhile, is continually seeking a balance in its economy. However, it is the low to lower income class who suffer the most due to lack of financial opportunities. The well-to-do can afford luxuries such as vast health resources, educational opportunities and chances of increasing their already substantial wealth.

While wealthier classes send off their youth to international countries for study and work, the deprived classes are relegated to seek employment in the gulf regions amid harsh environment and meagre pay. Education and employment opportunities are extremely important to facilitate economic growth. Thankfully, more and more parents in Nepal are enrolling their children in school, especially in remote and rural areas due to increased awareness. Those parents who were once deprived of education due to lack of opportunities are encouraging their young ones to study hard in their schools.

Literacy is vital to fight poverty as it increases the chances of employment opportunities. However, the standard and quality of education defer according to the locality. Students in the urbanised regions such as Kathmandu receive more updated and versatile education. Especially, the private education sectors provide more diverse and internationally accredited education enabling their students to compete in the global job market. Migration within the nation too affects the economy of involved citizens.

Most predominantly male manpower in rural villages migrates to the cities for study and work. Thus, major cities become a hub for congregation of people from varied minorities, all of whom strive to make it in the city. Further, the societal structure of Nepal is constantly changing as the previously extended families are switching to nuclear families. More and more people are opting to beget fewer children while focusing on providing a quality living standard for their families.

Thus household demographics are changing while the nation is striving for a more stable political environment. When studying a society for economic growth it is essential to observe the intergenerational economic development. The gulf between the various economic strata can lead to increased feelings of resentment and anger which permeate through different generations in a society. The socio-economic inequality is bound to have future repercussion which is why it is essential to bridge the divide.

When children of poor and economically deprived parents receive better education and job opportunities, they will prosper thus leading to a decrease in inequality over time. Thus, poverty can be lessened by enhancing opportunities for growth and prosperity while ensuring overall equity.