Even after six decades of fighting poverty, debate on settling 'poverty line' on the development drawing board is far from over. If consistent inflation and continuing devaluation (rupee) are anything to go by, determining actual number of the poor earning more or less than Rs 28 per day shall remain a nightmare. Even as data on the poor remains convoluted, the idea of fighting poverty hinges around political expediency for electoral gains. More by design than default, it is a number game that politicians and planners will love to sustain. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme holds testimony to this game.
With poverty not being a static social identity, economic pundits are now segregating 'poverty' into distinguishable classes, something that was smartly done to draw classes within the 'middle class' viz., lower middle, middle middle and upper middle. Relative. moderate and extreme are the likely poverty classes the poor will be segmented into. While relative poverty may remain an enigma, moderate poverty is unlikely to be as alarming. However, it is the extreme poverty that will keep nations and aid agencies gainfully employed for rest of the millennia without getting anywhere close to eliminating it. Not without reason did Jesus proclaim: 'the poor, you have always with you'!