Some people are born for doing some special tasks. They took care for the welfare of society and devote their whole life for the nation. There are no means of enjoyment of life for them, they have only thought that how they can make other’s lives better. They researched, they worked, they thought and made that pillar of society on which society can stand up. Amartya Sen is one of that pillar our society which makes us proud. Today his birthday. Let’s remember him as a founder of the socio-economic reformer of the nation.
Life Amartya Sen was born into a Brahman family in Santiniketan, Bengal, in India. His father was a professor of chemistry in Dhaka (now part of Bangladesh), where Amartya also received his first education.
An Indian economist who was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to welfare economics and social choice theory and for his interest in the problems of society’s poorest members. Sen was best known for his work on the causes of famine, which led to the development of practical solutions for preventing or limiting the effects of real or perceived shortages of food.
One focus of Amartya Sen’s research is how individuals’ values can be considered in collective decision-making and how welfare and poverty can be measured. His efforts stem from his interest in questions of distribution and, in particular, the lot of society’s poorest members. Amartya Sen’s studies have included famines, to create a deeper understanding of the economic reasons behind famine and poverty.
Inspired by Tagore
He said, “I loved that breadth, and also the fact that in interpreting Indian civilization itself, its cultural diversity was much emphasized.” By pointing to the extensive heterogeneity in India’s cultural background and richly diverse history, Tagore argued that the “idea of India” itself militated against a culturally separatist view, “against the intense consciousness of the separateness of one’s own people from others.” Tagore and his school constantly resisted the narrowly communal identities of Hindus or Muslims or others, and he was, I suppose, fortunate that he died – in 1941 – just before the communal killings fomented by sectarian politics engulfed India through much of the 1940s.
Welfare economics seeks to evaluate economic policies in terms of their effects on the well-being of the community. Sen, who devoted his career to such issues, was called the “conscience of his profession.” His influential monograph Collective Choice and Social Welfare (1970)—which addressed problems such as individual rights, majority rule, and the availability of information about individual conditions—inspired researchers to turn their attention to issues of basic welfare.
Sen devised methods of measuring poverty that yielded useful information for improving economic conditions for the poor. For instance, his theoretical work on inequality provided an explanation for why there are fewer women than men in some poor countries in spite of the fact that more women than men are born and infant mortality is higher among males. Sen claimed that this skewed ratio results from the better health treatment and childhood opportunities afforded to boys in those countries.
Sen’s interest in famine stemmed from personal experience. As a nine-year-old boy, he witnessed the Bengal famine of 1943, in which three million people perished. This staggering loss of life was unnecessary, Sen later concluded. He believed that there was an adequate food supply in India at the time but that its distribution was hindered because of particular groups of people—in this case, rural labourers—lost their jobs and therefore their ability to purchase the food. In his book Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation (1981), Sen revealed that in many cases of famine, food supplies were not significantly reduced. Instead, a number of social and economic factors—such as declining wages, unemployment, rising food prices, and poor food-distribution systems—led to starvation among certain groups in society.
Worked For Pangs of hunger
Governments and international organizations handling food crises were influenced by Sen’s work. His views encouraged policymakers to pay attention not only to alleviating immediate suffering but also to finding ways to replace the lost income of the poor—as, for example, through public-works projects—and to maintain stable prices for food. A vigorous defender of political freedom, Sen believed that famines do not occur in functioning democracies because their leaders must be more responsive to the demands of the citizens. In order for economic growth to be achieved, he argued, social reforms—such as improvements in education and public health—must precede economic reform.
His research has ranged over social choice theory, economic theory, ethics and political philosophy, welfare economics, the theory of measurement, decision theory, development economics, public health, and gender studies.
Amartya Sen’s books have been translated into more than thirty languages, and include Choice of Techniques (1960), Growth Economics (1970), Collective Choice and Social Welfare (1970), On Economic Inequality (1973, 1997); Poverty and Famines (1981); Utilitarianism and Beyond (jointly with Bernard Williams, 1982);Choice, Welfare and Measurement (1982), Commodities and Capabilities (1985),The Standard of Living (1987), On Ethics and Economics (1987); Hunger and Public Action (jointly with Jean Drèze, 1989); Inequality Re-examined (1992); The Quality of Life (jointly with Martha Nussbaum, 1993); Development as Freedom (1999);Rationality and Freedom (2002); The Argumentative Indian (2005); Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny (2006), The Idea of Justice (2009), An Uncertain Glory: India and Its Contradictions (jointly with Jean Drèze, 2013), and The Country of First Boys (2015).
Amartya Sen’s awards include Bharat Ratna (India); Commandeur de la Legion d’Honneur (France); the National Humanities Medal (USA); Ordem do Merito Cientifico (Brazil); Honorary Companion of Honour (UK); the Aztec Eagle (Mexico); the Edinburgh Medal (UK); the George Marshall Award (USA); the Eisenhower Medal (USA); and the Nobel Prize in Economics.