Pavan is a boy of 12 I discovered today on road at Jhusi area of Allahabad ferrying clothes. Drudgery was on his face. While buying something from him I got to know the following:
Pavan has parents. His mother is ill – bedridden. Pavan needs money to save to cure his mother. His father is a walking hawker. He has two sisters who are apparently in studies. Pavan is from Andawa area adjacent to the city of Allahabad or around five km. away from Jhusi area. Pavan uses the bi-cycle of his father to ferry. So, his drudgery is reduced a little bit. Pavan earns around Rs. 200 per day from this daily job. Pavan’s father has a Bank savings account. He could not tell if that account was functioning. Pavan goes to the city (he, among many other such vendors, thinks that Jhusi is outside the city) to get the materials to be ferried. His working hours are nine a.m. to six p.m. daily. Pavan does not carry a mobile phone – his family has one. So, in need he cannot contact anybody.
So what lesson did I get from this story? One, Pavan’s childhood is lost. He is away from school. He will be adult over physical time not embedded by education. Pavan may reproduce future Pavans. Pavan’s parents may try to get their daughters married or in parallel those girls may truncate their education below school level; saving now is urgent for medical treatment of their mother. The medical professionals are waiting to dispossess Pavan’s household. There is however no guarantee that Pavan’s mother will be cured. But there is no trade off between mother and the rest of the world.
Many of the academicians trained in Economics think about breaking the poverty trap. Or, they often accuse the victim. My simple question remains, how Pavan can get a way to come out of household poverty. My understanding is, no child is poor. He/she may take birth in an income-poor family. And he remains in inter-generational poverty for his childhood is robbed.
Professor Majumder has written and published so far nine books on social sector. He has authored so far sixty nine research papers in around twenty referred journals. In addition, he has contributed thirty chapters in books on social sciences, apart from several review articles for journals and magazines, plus publications in national and international Conference proceedings. He has so far completed 23 research projects sponsored and supported by World Bank, Ministry of Rural Development (GoI), Planning Commission, ICSSR (GoI), Industries including NTPC and Tata Chemicals. Many students got D.Phil. from the University of Allahabad under his supervision.