G. K. Chadha. Employment, Earnings, and Poverty: A Study of Rural India and Indonesia. New Delhi: Sage Publications. 1994. 294 pages. Indian Rupees 295.00.
Author: Hina Nazli

The rural areas of developing countries are not only underdeveloped in terms of their physical infrastructure but also contain a larger proportion of the poor population as compared to the urban areas reflecting the underdeveloped social infrastructure. A majority of the rural population does not have access to the limited social services and amenities, such as safe drinking water, education, electricity, and health services, and is thus struggling for survival. After the Second World War, some of the East Asian countries launched poverty alleviation programmes and attempted to reduce unemployment and underemployment by promoting the ruralbased industries. Their experience reveals that the rural economy cannot grow only through agriculture grOWth. Sustainable growth requires the creation of non-farm job opportunities that will raise the level of employment and income and, consequently, the standard of living. In the absence of such activities, farm unemployment increases and a large proportion of the jobless labour force tends to seek jobs in the urban informal sector, which creates problems of slums, poverty, and crime in the urban areas. Comprehensive field surveys are generally required to identify the areas which lie in the lower strata of the development ladder and to suggest effective targeting of welfare measures for alleviating poverty.