Poverty – the deadlist disease

Mehak Gupta Grover
Poverty- a very age old yet burning word. Poverty in crude form refers to the condition when someone is not able to meet even the basic requirements of food, shelter and clothing. Poverty may be absolute or relative. Absolute poverty is a condition where people are unable to get adequate resources to maintain even minimum physical health. Relative poverty, on the other hand, is when people are deprived of a certain minimum level of living standards.
Today, India is standing at a highly critical stage. On one hand, India has world’s largest youth and literate manpower; on the other hand, over 30 million of its population is still below the poverty line. We have been hearing ‘Garibi Hatao’ since 40-50 years. We are living in a world of contrast. There are rich and poor, there are ones who  are impoverished and the satiated. We live in a country where 300 million  people go to bed hungry every night. How to deal with these big social issues?
With our Government headed by  Narendra Modiji, various reforms and movements have been started and given weightage for poverty alleviation. Make in India, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Skill India, Pradhan Mantri  Fasal Bima Yojana, Black Money Disclosure Window are some of the examples. All these are initiatives for eradicating poverty and making India a much better country. But how successful are these movements? How well are they working towards a better India- a healthy India? Every year more than six million children die from malnutrition. Every minute, a women dies in childbirth. These tragedies have one thing in common- Poverty! It is a state of privation where there is a lack of essential need for substance. India is mainly an agricultural country. About 80% of population depends on agriculture. But the shape of our agriculture is bad. Farmers are poor and uneducated. They don’t know the modern methods of farming. They don’t have good facilities of irrigation.
India is an extreme country. It is home to over 30% of almost 385 million children living in extreme poverty- the highest in South Asia. The widening gap between rich and poor is getting wider. The rich is growing richer- poor is getting poorer. There is corruption in every walk of life. There is inefficiency in offices. Some people have all the priveledges and many others are suffering. 1/4th of all humans live without electricity. Approximately 21 million children under one year don’t get the three recommended doses of vaccinations.  After seeing so much suffering in the world, it is clear that poverty means much more than just lack of income. It includes isolation, powerlessness, insecurity, lack of control over one’s future. Poverty and distress are grounds for diseases, environmental degradation, terrorism and so on. It is like punishment for a crime one didn’t commit. It is very well said – In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of. The very right to be human is denied every day to hundreds of millions of people as a result of poverty.
It is a human rights issue, one that affects people in every country across the globe. Zimbabwe, Liberia, Afghanistan, Nepal, Burundi, Madagascar, Congo, Haiti- all these countries have been declared as the poorest countries in the world. The reason for this global disparity is- limited access to education and voting rights, corruption and black money and related issues, Human issues.
The solution lies in action- action from all of us. We need to bring strength for this fight.  Developed countries may help in form of aid. Developing countries should start with investment in girl power. There is a role for each of us to play- where ever we might be in the world- we must fight for truth, justice, innocence.
India has to walk a long way. A beginning has been made through “Make in India” mission supported by skill development initiatives and easing of doing business policies. It is high time that India’s Government policies focus comprehensively on encouraging areas like industries growth and development, knowledge management, innovation, electricity generation capacity and more. Human development is much more than rise or fall of national income. It is about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential. People are the real wealth of the nations.
Where will Poverty be tomorrow? It is  stealing life from the innocent and vulnerable. It is lack of hope.
In words of Nelson Mandela-
“Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man – made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.”
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