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Day 49 – Q 1.What do you understand by the term ‘vulnerability’? How does one section of population become vulnerable? Explain with the help of suitable examples.

1. What do you understand by the term ‘vulnerability’? How does one section of population become vulnerable? Explain with the help of suitable examples. 

भेद्यताशब्द से आप क्या समझते हैं? जनसंख्या का एक वर्ग कमजोर कैसे हो जाता है? उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की सहायता से समझाएँ।


Vulnerability refers to a situation of an individual or a group to be in a weak position or diminished capacity. It is a state of being highly exposed to the possibility of physical or emotional harm caused due to various reasons.


A section of population becoming vulnerable:

  • Physical vulnerability: 
    • Children: due to the age factor and dependency being vulnerable to issues like child trafficking, child labour etc.,
    • due to birth defects, handicaps or with a feature than normal creating a section of person with disabilities/special abilities requiring special treatment. E.g. Blind, Polio affected children, children born with Dyslexia and so on.
  • Economic vulnerability: due to lack of poverty, low income which creates a vicious cycle exonerating a section of people from opportunities in education and employment making them vulnerable. E.g. Farmers with small returns, informal workers, daily wage labourers etc.,
  • Social vulnerability: is causes vulnerable sections like 
    • LGBT community: due to inadequate understanding or the orthodox mindset against accepting the change. E.g. LGBT community.
    • patriarchal mindset with gender stereotyping, narrow thinking making the women vulnerable to exploitation, harassment and taking away of life opportunities.
    • Exploitation and ostracization based on caste leading to socially vulnerable sections like Dalits.
  • Political vulnerability: sections of society becomes vulnerable due to political crisis like civil war, extremism etc., E.g. Illegal migrants entering Europe, Naxal affected population.
  • Numerical factor: section with distinctive religion or race or language become vulnerable when there is a imposition by majority or inadequate protection by government. E.g. minority population suffering from majority like Tamils in Srilanka, Rohingyas in Myanmar.
  • Environment vulnerability: due to disaster prone geography E.g. people living in coastal regions, earthquake prone regions etc., The on-set of disaster also created a section of climate refugees as well.
  • Inadequate implementation of laws which results in exploitation/ vulnerable treatment creating a separate vulnerable section. E.g. Safai kamacharis in spite of ban, child labour etc.,
  • Development vulnerability: the displacement of a section of people from their habitats due to developmental activities like mining, infrastructure development, dam construction etc., E.g. villagers near forests or river (Narmada bachao andolan). 
  • Inadequate knowledge and isolation: due to lack of integration with the mainstream society, some of the sections like tribal population becomes vulnerable to exploitation. Also, inadequate knowledge in health makes tribal population to morality and malnutrition.


Thus, most of the vulnerable sections are man-made and hence it is vital for taking proactive steps to address the issue. Development schemes for poverty alleviation, upliftment of vulnerable section economically, socially and politically is being implemented. Yet, transformatory measures are needed.

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