GUJARAT-Menace of Moneylenders in Sagbara

Menace of Moneylenders in Sagbara Mathew Kalathil THE Antyodaya Programme and the Integrated Rural Development Programme have attempted to bring a certain number of poor families above the poverty line within a given period of time. The protagonists of such programmes at times give the impression that rural impoverisation is about to be effectively brought under check. While imaginative programmes for eradication of poverty are needed, it is also necessary to look at the process of rural pauperisation. What condemns people to live below the poverty line? How many people are affected by the process of pauperisation? How does the process operate? Who are responsible for its operation? what can bring the process under control? A look at some cases from Sagbara taluka of Bharuch district suggests that usurious moneylending is a major factor explaining the rapid pauperisation in the area. It is more than likely that such cases abound in other areas also.

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