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  • 10 Jul 2019 GS Paper 2 Social Justice

    Lack of access to resources accentuates and reinforces the socio-economic disparities faced by marginalised communities in India. Comment. (250 words)

    Approach

    Approach

    • Introduce by giving constitutional basis for socio-economic equality for all.
    • Describe the current status of the marginalized sections.
    • Explain how lack of resources cause impediments in their growth.
    • Conclude by giving positive outlook towards their role in nation building.

    Introduction

    Indian constitution has laid down a framework for a democratic socialist state. Article 38 provides for justice in all aspects of life, equality in status, social security and economic safeguards to the weaker sections of the society.

    However, there are certain communities which remain marginalized and continue to face discrimination in everyday life despite government efforts to empower them.

    Body

    Following communities can be regarded as marginalized communities in India based on their shared sense of collective identity and common burdens:

    • Scheduled Castes (SCs): Being historically disadvantaged they continue to face social oppression. Their socio- economic disparities may be due to:
      • Lack of ownership of productive resources in farming. Most of them work as landless agricultural labourers.
      • Lack of access to quality education and subsequent opportunities for secure employment. As per Census 2011, literacy rate among SCs is 66.1% compared to national average of 73%.
    • Scheduled Tribes (STs):
      • Tribal populations often live in remote locations making it a challenge to deliver basic services to them. The unawareness of rights often leads to further exploitation of them and the resources owned by them.
      • According to a World Bank report, STs are lagging nearly 20 years behind the average Indian population.
    • Religious minorities: As per NITI Aayog’s observations, religious minorities particularly Muslims lag behind others in terms of economic, health and educational parameters.
      • Muslims comprise 14.2% of India’s population but account for 5% of students in higher education as per All India Survey on Higher education 2017-18.
      • Their representation in administrative and police services remains low.
    • Persons with disabilities (PwD) face issues of accessibility of infrastructure and public transport. This hinders their right to secure education and livelihood opportunities.
      • Data from the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People show that 84% of seats for persons with disabilities lie vacant in top universities.
    • Transgenders face barriers to healthcare facilities. Medical professionals lack transgender health care competency. They do not have access to quality education, employment, family and social ties which further isolates them from the mainstream development.
    • Senior citizens have to face social isolation, poverty and distress due to neglect by families, digital illiteracy, lack of healthcare and insurance facilities.

    Above analysis shows that despite several years of liberalization and economic progress, achieving equal access to resources and opportunities and the state of inclusive development remains an unaccomplished goal.

    Hence, it can be said that lack of resources accentuates and reinforces the socio-economic disparities faced by marginalized communities in India.

    Conclusion

    Hence, we need to promote policies which can lead to multidimensional progress on the socio-economic fronts. This could be used as an effective tool to counter the social malaise of discrimination. The goal of ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’ can only be realized when the marginalized and the vulnerable are empowered to fulfill their true potential.

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