‘Ridiculed for Not Having Anything’: Children’s Views on Poverty and Inequality in Rural India

  • Gina Crivello
  • Uma Vennam
  • Anuradha Komanduri
Part of the Palgrave Studies on Children and Development book series (PSCD)


This chapter reports on research carried out with boys and girls, aged 12 to 15, participating in Young Lives in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It focuses on young people’s descriptions, explanations, and experiences of poverty and inequality in two contrasting rural communities and highlights implications for research, policy and practice, and rights. Young people growing up in poor communities are generally alert to inequalities and injustices, and to their own disadvantaged situations (see for example, Chapter 11 by Gillian Mann; Bissell 2009; Camfield 2010; or Witter 2002). The research presented here indicates that children perceive material inequalities as indicative of wider differences in power and position, of which they are very much a part. Children’s concerns, explanations, and experiences of the effects of poverty may differ from those of adults, and children often have distinct roles and responsibilities within their families for managing hardship and risk related to household poverty (for example, caring for siblings, carrying out essential household chores, working for pay, and going to school). There may also be important differences in patterns of children’s awareness and under-standing of inequality, reflecting their varied positioning in the social hierarchy and the range of social expectations they manage (related, for example, to age, gender, class, and ethnicity, or caste).


Poor Household Childhood Poverty Poor Child Rural Child Schedule Caste 
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© Gina Crivello, Uma Vennam, and Anuradha Komanduri 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gina Crivello
  • Uma Vennam
  • Anuradha Komanduri

There are no affiliations available

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