D.C. Sah and Ashish Bhatt
Trapped in Poverty is an interesting research for more ways than one. It takes the work by Chronic Poverty Research Centre forward. It goes beyond the all-too-familiar statistical exercises based on BPL statistics. It provides a ground level view of the poor with the help of a well-designed field investigation. It builds on existing concepts and research in recognising the heterogeneity and differentiation among the poor and also the presence of non-poor even in remote and backward rural communities. Without this recognition, it is easy to underestimate the barriers confronting the change agents intervening in poor communities from outside, particularly those with urban background and who belong to the developed world. Even genuine concern for the poor and the deep sense of commitment for their welfare, by themselves, would be of little help to the development interveners unless they equip themselves with an adequate understanding of the dynamics of stagnation and change in the communities they wish to help.
Trapped in Poverty is a good illustration of how to go about to obtain a mapping of the rural context for checking the relevance and usefulness of the development strategy and the benefits it could confer on the poor. The book will be of interest to students and scholars of development studies, economics and sociology. Exploring Social Frontiers: An Encomium for