“Poverty annihilates the future,”George Orwell
Orwell is right and poverty has annihilated the past. Poverty seeps in and makes feeble the roots of a stable society. Perhaps, Poverty is one of the big problems in the past humanity had faced and is facing and will. The problem was aggravated after the industrial revolution and now in the post-modern world, it is in the worst form. We have achieved heights more than any era but the truth is we are poor. Poverty had never been so escalated as it is now. It’s a long debate why is there Poverty? Why some people have a lot and some have none? We won’t look into these. We will focus on how Poverty distorts lives and why Poverty is a major threat to humanity.
First, let’s look at the statistics that how many people are living in poverty around the world. According to the world bank statistics, the global extreme poverty in 2015 was 10.1 percent which fell to 9.2 percent in 2017. So if we compute the percentage into figures this means that about 689 million people live on less than $1.90 a day. In Pakistan, according to world bank reports, has declined significantly from 64.3% in 2002 to 29.5% in 2014. The decline is Poverty percentage is appealing but COVID-19 will push many who escaped harsh poverty earlier back into the vicious circle of Poverty. The world bank report predicts that an additional 88 million to 115 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty because of COVID-19. This is an alarming threat because the global number may rise to 703 or 729 million.
Poverty is not only a lack of money or resources but deprivation. The people living in Poverty are far from education. The maximum education, in poverty affected area, a child is only primary or basic education. Some areas are far from this also. The poverty affected area lack the clean environment for a healthy life, so people living in those areas are short-lived (age swings in between 24-64) and prey of many fatal diseases. The standards of living are extremely low.
Poverty leads to many other chronic problems. The areas that are affected by extreme poverty are also battered by a rise in criminal activities. So poverty affects all, some directly while others indirectly. As already mentioned above the quality of an individual’s health is negatively affected by low socioeconomic status. A report by the Children’s Defence Fund says that the children who suffer poverty’s effects are not only its victims. When children do not succeed as adults all of society pays the price. So poverty’s elimination will knock out many problems with it. The most important is that poverty elimination is important also because Poverty is inhumane living.
Many initiatives are taken to curb Poverty by the big international organizations but an individual effort also matters. So, Khudkaar is such an effort made to help the poverty affected people in raising their standards of living. Giving opportunities to the poverty-stricken is akin to eliminating poverty. And it is in our hands. Together we can, as Nelson Mandela has rightly pointed out: