Charity, Poverty, Publicity and Society
“The best among you are those who bring greatest benefits to the rest of the mankind” Prophet Mohammad (s. a. w)
By: Lubna Shabir
Since ages, people have been living together sharing common interests and culture among other things and therefore form societies. Diversities in various characteristics are found in all the societies of the world. One important aspect in which diversity is found in societies is “income”. All the societies can be stratified into different strata on the basis of income. Despite the variations in societies in terms of various characteristics, the qualities of harmony, humanity, love, cooperation, interdependence etc. exist in almost all the societies of the world.
In India, the government launches many schemes, from time to time, for the poor people to provide financial support, food, shelter etc to the them. Some of the schemes which the Government of India implemented for the upliftment of the status of the weaker sections of the population are Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana under which LPG connections are provided at concessional rates to people living on the margins, Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awass Yojana is to provide housing for all by 2022, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana for financial inclusion of all people in India. People in most of the societies also participate, either jointly or otherwise, to see what they can do to provide social, moral and financial support to the poor.
Some people make charity for gaining publicity, but we should not generalize this. We highlight the shortcomings of society, but we never appreciate the good of the society and it seems that we don’t sense or see the humanity existing in most of the societies.
Recently, a girl of Sopore town jumped into river Jhelum whose body is yet to be recovered. Since the time she has jumped into the river, I have seen large number of posts from the so-called journalists and intellectuals on social media platforms blaming the locality of Sopore for not providing financial and moral support to the family of girl when she was alive. The posts were like “Wakeup Sopore”, “Murder of humanity”. Citing the quote of Imam Ali (RA) -“Distribute your wealth amongst the poor, destitute and the needy, help others to the best of your ability and be kind and sympathetic to human beings”
I being a resident of Sopore town know the ground reality that how much of sympathy and financial support is provided to the weaker section of our society by the people as per their abilities. Some people find it easy to spread false information on social media platforms without knowing the truth. All those who spread misinformation play a massive role in demoralising the masses and never try to find out the reality behind an event or an incident. Charity should be done in such a way that it should help the needy persons. Doing charity for publicity can have negative impacts on the needy.
Poverty is not the lone reason of committing suicide as rich people commit more suicide than poor. There are various reasons for such eventualities including drug addiction, mental health issues, stress, loneliness and lack of basic support system besides numerous other reasons that finally push a person to commit suicide.
The data on suicides published in 2019 by the World Health Organization revels that, South Korea, which is a developed country has suicide rate of 28.6 persons per 1,00,000 persons, which is fourth highest in the world. Russia, which is also a developed country has a high suicide rate of 25.1 persons per 1,00,000 persons, while in developing or underdeveloped countries like Syria and Iraq the suicide rates are 2 and 3.6 persons per 1,00,000 persons respectively. The data of 2019 shows the poverty is not the main reason for suicides. Also, the data of 2022 published by the World Health Organization reveals that 5% of people in the United States of America suffer from depression, while as the percentage of depression cases in developing countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh is 4.10%, which is less than the United States of America.
Whenever a poor person commits suicide, the so-called intellectuals leave no stone unturned in blaming the society. Without knowing the truth, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc, are flooded with posts blaming the society for the suicide committed by the poor. Some people who post on social media platforms are ignorant about the situations, however some do it with the intention of gaining publicity. Whenever we upload posts to blame the society in which the incident occurs, without knowing the truth, we forget that these incidents could happen in our own societies as well. We can’t prove or disprove all the things on social media platforms as everyone has the right to have his/her opinion. But no one has the right to tarnish the image of any society by spreading false propaganda for the sake of publicity.
The writer is a Student (Economics Honours) from Government Degree College Sopore
Kashmir Images is an English language daily newspaper published from Srinagar (J&K), India. The newspaper is one of the largest circulated English dailies of Kashmir and its hard copies reach every nook and corner of Kashmir Valley besides Jammu and Ladakh region.