In this sixty-eight archive story by Kristian Bertel, we see the poverty in India and how it is affecting the Bharat Mata area of Varanasi in India. Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
In this harrowing photograph of an Indian man in the Bharat Mata area of Varanasi, we see how poverty is affecting India. The circle of poverty has been defined as a phenomenon in India where poor families become impoverished for at least three generations, for instance for enough time that the family includes no surviving ancestors who possess and can transmit the intellectual, social and cultural capital necessary to stay out of or change their impoverished condition.
In this harrowing photograph of an Indian man in the Bharat Mata area of Varanasi, we see how poverty is affecting India. The circle of poverty has been defined as a phenomenon in India where poor families become impoverished for at least three generations, for instance for enough time that the family includes no surviving ancestors who possess and can transmit the intellectual, social and cultural capital necessary to stay out of or change their impoverished condition.

Circle of poverty in India

India happens to be a rich country inhabited by very poor people. Unfortunately, since departure of the colonial British all economic development has taken place in the cities, while the majority of the population lives in the countryside. Thus, the rural India has always remained neglected. Another peculiarity is the land holding pattern in India, where the most land has traditionally been under the control of a few landlords, leaving the vast majority landless.

What is the meaning of circle of poverty?

The circle of poverty begins when a child is born into a poor family. On paper, the circle of poverty has been defined as a phenomenon where poor families become impoverished for at least three generations.

Circle of poverty
In India and in the rest of the world poverty can go into a circle or cycle, which actually means that poverty begets poverty and it is a concept that illustrates how poverty causes poverty and traps people in poverty unless an external intervention is applied to break the cycle. A very poor family with children have very little to eat and have and access to health facilities. As a result, the children are malnourished and unhealthy and have many health complications. They are therefore unable to go to school even if there is a school in the next village and they grow up with no education or skill and cannot do any economic activity. Their parent die from preventable diseases as a result of lack of health facilities and their fate is in their hands. As the children turn adults, they find wives who are just on the same level of poverty as them and they have their own children. They hand over this condition to their children, who will also grow up in similar conditions.

It takes an intervention from governments, charity organizations or family members who are better off to step in and provide some kind of assistance for instance health, feeding, shelter and basic education to get the youth to do some kind of economic activity to bring in some income. Without that, this cycle or circle will continue for generations and it is a trap that is extremely difficult to get out of. This concept can also be applied to countries and larger economies, although the dynamics may be slightly different. Poverty cannot be completely eradicated, as it largely caused by human factors. Over the past years there has been a lot of 'Poverty Alleviation Programs' designed to break the cycle or circle of poverty in many households and communities in the world. The result is remarkable, but there is still a lot to be done.

"India is a developing country which is also the world's fastest and largest growing economy. However, it cannot be seen in the photograph above from the Bharat Mata area of Varanasi"

Varanasi portrait of Indian poverty
As a photographer and traveler in India it is hard to ignore the poverty in India. But many things are already done to prevent the poverty. 'Poverty alleviation' involves the strategic use of tools such as education, economic development, health and income redistribution to improve the livelihoods of the worlds poorest by governments and internationally approved organizations. They also aim at removing social and legal barriers to income growth among the poor. Quality education empowers people to take advantage of opportunities around them. It helps children get knowledge, information and life skills they need to realize their potential. Training teachers, building schools, providing education materials and breaking down that prevent children from accessing education are important features of poverty alleviation programmes. Many programs aim at feeding kids at school and providing health services as well. This encourages parents to send the children to school and keep them there. If children have food to eat and are healthy, they can learn and respond to the needs of the programme. The youth and able-to-work in the communities are provided skills to help with farm work or other economic activity, which helps them earn money to make a living and take care of their families. It is important that the government extends its development programs such as roads, bridges and other economic facilities to rural areas, to make it easy for goods and services and farm produce to move to and from the farming communities. With a bit of effort in the areas mentioned above, it will not take long to see real improvements in the living conditions of the community.

Reasons for poverty in India
So why is India so poor it may be primarily because the British Empire thoroughly looted the loose conglomeration of city-states, which was collectively once one of the richest countries in the world even though there was no country named India back then, at least not in the way we have now. They came in, they saw the wealth that was there, they took their time nearly four centuries worth and they got the job done. The Empire looted India so thoroughly that they did not even spare the word 'Loot' they looted the word as well. India is a interesting and unique dichotomy among nations. We have a heritage that goes back at least 5000 years old in recorded history, yet as a nation, India is only 70 years old. What India has achieved in that time is astounding, keeping in mind the state it was left in, the diversity of its populace and having to reconcile so many disparate and often competing interest groups and their as-yet-unbroken but now-strained covenant with democracy. Because Indians want to be poor being divided and fighting among themselves and with a believe that their god and degree will make them rich so they do not work smart and hard. Moreover, the politics and religion drives India and not rational or sense so it will remain Poor.

Situation of poverty arises when people are not able to satisfy their basic needs and have a low quality of life. Which happens due to lack of capital because of disguised and chronic uneployment and the vicious circle goes on. In developed countries, people as young as thirteen years start to earn and live independantly, human capital and human knowledge is valued for, whereas in India, even at twentyfive people find it difficult to get employed Kristian Bertel | Photography learned. Despite several attempts from the Indian government to solve this problem, certain loopholes make it difficult to function which results in lopsided development and cases of extreme poverty.

Rising wealth inequality in India
According to a report about Inequality in India and many other countries, the richest one percent in India owns fiftyeight percent of the country's wealth. As the myopic 'economic experts' gloat over rising number of billionaires in India, the inequality is growing bigger with each passing year. Rising inequality is trapping more and more Indians in poverty and it is also fracturing the society and undermining Indian democracy. It is in fact a global phenomenon and the report also revealed that seven out of ten people live in countries that have seen inequality widen in the last thirty years.

Read also:  Crippled beggar of India

Read also:  Crippled beggar of India

More archive stories

India is a land full of stories. On every street, on every corner and in the many places in India, life is rushing by you as a photographer with millions of stories to be told. In the archive story above, you hopefully had a readable insight in the story that was behind the photo of an Indian man in Varanasi. On this website of Kristian Bertel | Photography you can find numerous travel pictures from the photographer. Stories and moments that tell the travel stories of how the photographer captured the specific scene that you see in the picture. The photographer's images have a story behind them, images that all are taken from around India throughout his photo journeys. The archive stories delve into Kristian's personal archive to reveal never-before-seen, including portraits and landscapes beautifully produced snapshots from various travel assignments. The archive is so-far organized into photo stories, this one included, each brought to life by narrative text and full-color photos. Together, these fascinating stories tell a story about the life in India. India, the motherland to many people around the world, a land of unforgetable travel moments. The archive takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in the photographer's archive collection. The photographer culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty and everyday life in India. By adding these back stories the photographer's work might immensely enhanced the understanding of the photographs.