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The Poor Way to Fight Poverty: A Study of Coping Strategies Practised by the Urban Poor in Bengaluru, India – isec

The Poor Way to Fight Poverty: A Study of Coping Strategies Practised by the Urban Poor in Bengaluru, India

The Poor Way to Fight Poverty: A Study of Coping Strategies Practised by the Urban Poor in Bengaluru, India

 

Mudassar Mahamad Jamadar and Kala Seetharam Sridhar

 

Abstract

The study investigates the coping mechanisms practised by the urban poor, with special emphasis on shocks. The study is based on a primary survey of 300 poor households identified in six localities of Bengaluru in the post-pandemic period. Five themes emerged from the quantitative and qualitative content analysis: coping during i. Shocks/ Crisis ii. Economic distress iii. Social distress iv. Health distress and v. education. We find various coping mechanisms practised by the urban poor, such as skipping meals, selling assets, pulling family members to the job market, postponing expenditures, and compromising food quality. The results show that shocks triggered food insecurity among poor urban families. As part of a planned effort to fight poverty, 62% of households started savings, anticipating expenditures during emergencies (25%), & for business (29%). Friends & relatives are approached the most (85%) to tackle social distress, and 43 per cent of urban poor rely on home remedies to cut down health expenses. This study concludes that short-term coping strategies during shocks give instant relief from the crisis but make them vulnerable to falling into poverty in the long run. Safety nets should cover adversaries of shock and crises to interrupt the perpetuation of poverty among the urban poor.

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