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Living under the horrible shadows of poverty

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Ishfaq Ahmad Chopan

The issue of poverty can be primarily described as a deficiency or scarcity of certain fundamental basic requirements faced by a certain portion of population. The reason for it can be several.

Even though the technological advancement has created widespread opportunities and job platforms, the overall graph of life continues to dwindle and we still have huge number of people who live a life of poverty and destitution. The revival of economic structures, the widespread modernity as well as innovative means of earning livelihood haven’t helped much as there is no remarkable change to be seen in the status among the poor.

The great South African revolutionary leader, Nelson Mendala, proposed that poverty was not an accident like slavery and apartheid but it was something man made and could be removed easily by the human actions. In fact overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity but an act of justice. There is a large network of population either hit by wars, conflicts or those who have become the victims of unjust and corrupt governmental and administrative systems and thereby witness an extreme kind of poverty and henceforth fail to meet their minimum fundamental survival needs like food, clothing and the shelter.

It doesn't matter how many governmental or non- governmental scheme's or institutes are out there working for the poor and the needy, the issue is what kind of life the poor masses of a nation are living and what are the existing challenges faced by them? The poverty not just test's how one will ensure his social dignity by turning one's  life into an examination and a struggle for survival. It is rather the death of our collective social conscience which has encouraged and increased poverty in our societies and nations and the negligence of our moral and social responsibilities regarding the poor and the needy has added to the phenomenon. It is disgusting to describe how poverty wastes the talents and the efficiency as well as diverse capabilities people posses but unfortunately aren’t able to explore.

The worst victims of poverty are the budding children living in such societies where there is malnutrition, disease, ailments and social misconduct. The children are the future of a nation and we have several nations, including India were a huge percentage of children dwells in slums and those who survive such horrible living conditions mostly become criminals. These children growing in poor societies aren’t just deprived  in getting a quality education and  exposure but due to insufficient diet  they suffer from malnutrition and starvation which thereby destructs this greatest asset. Such children are often horribly tested by the nuisance like child labour, child trafficking etc. This can be understood in a way that International Labour Organization reported, in 2018, that there were about 152 million children working in hazardous and unhealthy conditions as labours  in different parts of the world . The inborn distinct talents remain unexplored and untested among these children due to lack of desired exposure and career counseling.

The ‘rich favoring politics and policies’ of government has led to the creation of a social structure where all the service sectors and wealth is controlled and run by a small group of business tycoons. Last year, the international rights group- Oxfam- revealed that India's richest 1% controls as much as 73% of country's total wealth. This badly exposes the income and wealth inequality, rich controlled business sectors in a democratic nation like India. The corrupt and failed governmental system has  encouraged and created rich friendly climate which has given birth to the people like Vijay Malia and Nirav Modi who left no stone unturned in  looting the government and public money and are still at large.

Be it the local, national or international forums, people who claim to be working for the elevation of economic status of those living on the margins must sharpen their campaigns and must come forward and initiate coordinated and concerted efforts to undone the mistakes committed by successive governments and administrations. Lets understand that those who are living on the margins are there because of some reasons and we all may have contributed our bit in making their lives miserable.

Author is a Masters student in central university of Kashmir and can be reached at ashfaqchopan786@gmail.com

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