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Workers and Poverty

Garibi Biruddha Trade Union (Trade Union Against Poverty)

Published Year: 2005

Published by: General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT) & Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)

Writen By : Umesh Upadhyaya

Price: NRS 100, Pages: 68



Over half of the total population of workers across the world and 60 percent workers in many developing countries are living in abject poverty. Some 23.3 per cent of workers in many developing and least developed nations are living in less than a dollar a day.

In terms of population, over 1.39 billion workers live in two dollars a days and 550 million workers making their livelihood in less than one dollar a day. As per the statistics, 75 per cent of them live in the villages and majority of them rely on agriculture (ILO Conference working paper -Role of Trade Union).

It appears very paradoxical that those who work around the clock are frustratingly poor. Why do people become people? And what is poverty? Answer of these thorny questions is not easy. The book entitled "Garibi Biruddha Trade Union" (Trade Union against poverty) published by the GEFONT defines that the reason behind the poverty is unequal distribution of wealth or national resources.

And poverty is the inability to fulfill the minimum need for livelihood and inability to have access to education and health.

Even though the name of the author has not been mentioned anywhere, the contents and subject matters are presented in a lucid manner. The book has dealt the poverty from the perspective of workers and labour relations management.

The book contains five different chapters such as - poor and poverty, International communities in their efforts to alleviate poverty, Nepal and Nepalese in the misery of poverty, within the gamut of conflict, the way forward.

The first chapter in the book is about the poor and poverty which explicitly explains the reasons of poverty and various cases of poverty across the globe. The second chapter deals with the efforts of international communities for poverty alleviation.

The book contains various programmes of international communities (like ILO, UNO and World Bank) for poverty alleviation.

In fact, GEFONT's report not only contains the findings, but it also presents analytical observation.

The chapter is about causes and impact of poverty in various communities in the country.

The finding shows that the poverty in the rural areas is skewed. Around 37.2 per cent people were below the poverty line in 2034, which scaled up to 43.2 per cent in 2042 and 42 per cent 2046 BS.
The fourth chapter is about the impact of conflict on poverty. This chapter analytically deals with the causes of poverty as there had been a significant decline in the development expenditure. Finally the fifth chapter deals with measures to overcome poverty.

The book is very handy and contains lots of useful information. On top of that, another prominent quality of the book is its simplicity. Even a literate worker and farmers can easily understand it.

However, the editor of the book should have been more careful about interpreting the words of the main contents. Keeping some minor flaws aside, the book is wonderful. The efforts of latent author and GEFONT should always be appreciated.

Source: Friday Supplement, The Rising Nepal, 26 May 2006

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