Measures to overcome disparity
After knowing the causes of poverty, it is better now to discuss about measures to overcome disparities. Some of the important measures required to overcome disparities are as follows:
The following measures need to be adopted to overcome disparity:
• Changed attitudes of people – to get rid of caste and class considerations.
• Preferential treatment to be given to backward regions, states, areas, etc.
• Good governance to remove inter-regional, inter-state and intra-state disparity.
• Transparency in governance – more knowledge about Right to Information Act, legal literacy, etc.
• People’s participation in development going down to the panchayat level.
• Accountability to the people.
Changed attitudes of people
If disparity is to be removed, there need to be a complete change in the attitudes of people. People who consider factors like class, caste, gender, age, etc., important for development are actually creating hindrance in development by perpetuating disparity. It is very important for the people to realize that factors like these create serious bottlenecks in the development process and are factors that affect Development and Disparity certain sections of society. If development is to take place, it is important that all sections of society participate in the development process and also reap the fruits of development.
Preferential treatment to backward areas/regions
It is important for the government and the private sector to realise that disparity can be removed only if greater attention is given to areas which are backward, which means more investments need to be made in backward regions by private companies and increased allocations need to be made by the government in backward regions. It is also important to formulate special policies and programmes for the backward regions, like the ones that presently exists for the North- Eastern region. These investments may not give adequate returns initially, but may, in the long run remove disparities.
Governance is the art of governing – which means managing the affairs of a country or state or even a block or a village. Good governance refers to effective planning, management and monitoring of activities in order to bring about effective improvement in the affairs of the country or a state and equitable distribution of the gains of development. It also refers to providing equal access to basic services to all sections of the population and equal opportunities for individual growth. Thus, the better the governance, the lesser would be the disparity.
Transparency is absolutely essential to check disparity and ensure that development takes place. Transparency can be ensured if people have access to information. This is possible through the provision of information about various legislations to the masses, such as the Right to Information Act, legal literacy, etc. If systems are not working in an organisation, it is because of lack of accountability and transparency. Since people are not aware of the right to information, they are not able acquire knowledge about the system’s failure within
an organization and to raise their voice against non-functioning of systems within an organization. The more the transparency in an organization, the greater would be the growth of the organization. If all organizations in a country, for example, have adequate systems in place, there would be no disparity.
People’s participation in development
It is very important that people’s participation is ensured at all stages of development and at all levels – right from the top level to the grassroots level. When people are participating in the development process, it is in their interest to ensure that all sections of the society benefit equally from the process. If only a small section of the population is benefiting from the development process, it means that over a period of time disparity would crop in. In villages, where discrimination on the basis of caste and class and gender is extremely pronounced, the Panchayati Raj system can play a major role through people’s involvement in the development process.
It is also important to ensure that people are made accountable for the nonfunctioning of systems within the government. This can be done if people are involved at every stage of development – right from the stage of planning a programme to its execution and monitoring. It is important for the people to realise that programmes are meant for people and they need to be executed and monitored by them. The concept of ownership of a programme or scheme should vest with the people and then only they would feel accountable. If a road, for example, is in a bad shape making life difficult for the commuters, it is the people – the road users – themselves who need to be blamed. That is why we have good roads and bad roads in the same city, causing disparity in the availability of services. Good roads are those for which the road users are willing to take the onus of accountability. Bad roads are those about which road users are not concerned.