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Poverty And Hunger – Why Are We Still Struggling With These Evils

poverty and hunger

Poor Are Getting Poorer And Rich Are Getting Richer

 

poverty and hunger
Over-crowded ghettos in Delhi, India

 

Amidst the seas of grapevine on social media, every now and then something meaningful gets through. Today I received one such meaningful, though heart-wrenching, message on WhatsApp, the type that we tend to delete without sparing even a second glance. What was so heart wrenching about the message? The message revealed, in depth, the data about how we are failing to keep our children safe.

Millions of them spend their life in utter penury and overcrowded ghettos. Like every child out there, they should also spend their days bearing the burden of heavy school bags and worrying over Mathematics. Sadly, steeped in poverty, they spend their days worrying over the next meal or lack thereof.

In countries like India, Nigeria, et al, such is the helplessness, that parents get desperate enough to marry off their underage daughters for meagre cash and cattle.

 

Even Basic Education And Food Are Far-Reaching Dreams

 

world hunger
Picture Courtesy Of Unsplash

 

For at least 700 millions of unfortunate children across the world, basic food and education is nothing but a far-reaching dream, a dream which may never become a reality for them.

Children are the most visible victims of nutritional deficiencies. According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), approximately 5 million children die each year due to the lack of nutrition. Lack of food during that crucial time has a negative effect on physical and intellectual development.

In countries like India, Nigeria, et al, such is the helplessness, that parents get desperate enough to marry off their underage daughters for meagre cash and cattle. Recently, in India, one such incident came to light when it was revealed that a minor from Hyderabad has been married off to an elderly Sheikh based in Oman for a payment of Rs 5 lakh. This barbaric incident makes one wonder, “has the humanity completely perished”?

The vile clutches of child labour remain prevalent, even to this day, it is estimated some 168 million children remain trapped in child labour, many of them work full- time, as recounted by UN. Most of them are forced to work in violent environments, some are forced into illicit activities including drug trafficking, pornography and prostitution and some are sold into slavery.

Why can’t we build schools, hospitals, colleges, orphanages and nurseries for impoverished children, instead of Behemoth worship places, when it is the conspicuous need of the hour.


Protecting Our Children Is The Conspicuous Need Of The Hour

Politicians across the world leave no stone unturned in preaching about education and a better lifestyle for poor children. However, once the elections are over, except for a few half-hearted policies and inefficient laws, that too to save face, they fail to do any formidable work to alleviate child poverty. All the promises prove to be nothing but empty rhetorics.

What is it that we are collectively doing wrong when we fail to feed our children but still have enough resources to splurge on temples, mosques and churches. What is the need to worship so opulently? Why do we need more and more humongous palatial places of worship? Religious extremists, a euphemism for zealots, will probably come up with several comebacks to this “why”. And they may be right, in their own way. However, with abundant destitute lives, building places of worship is not our pressing need, is it? To every right-thinking citizen, the answer should be an unfaltering no.

30% of India’s population lives on 0.47 US Dollar per day in villages and 0.69 US Dollar in cities. Ironically, despite this shrines and worship places in India receive donations worth in millions. People in India are guilty of adorning Gods and Goddesses with gold. Not only that, their behemoth chariots are often covered with precious gemstones. And revered priests, under the holy garb, amass large fortunes.

 

Ten Percent Of Global Military Expenditure Can Solve The Problem Of Poverty

Politicians are busy placating communal and racial groups to gain votes, and amidst this, the poverty-stricken children remain neglected. The fact that an exorbitant amount of $1.7 trillion is spent on army expenditure globally, is a glaring indication about where our priorities lie.

In 2016, SIPRI (The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) said military expenditure amounted to 2.3% of global gross domestic product – and 10% of this would be enough to fund the global goals, which was agreed upon by United Nations’ 193 member states in September to end poverty and hunger by 2030.

Building schools, hospitals, orphanages and nurseries for impoverished children is the conspicuous need of the hour. We owe it to them due to the unequal distribution of health. This atonement that is long overdue.

 

Global Hunger Index Of South-Asian Countries

Country 1990 1996 2001 2012
Bangladesh 37.9 36.1 27.8 24
India 30.3 22.6 24.2 22.9
Nepal 26.9 24.4 23 20.3
Pakistan 25.5 21.8 21.7 19.7
Sri Lanka 20.8 18.4 15.2 14.4
China 11.8 8.9 6.7 5.1

Source: Global Hunger Index 2012 International Food Policy And Research Institute And Green Scenery And Concern Worldwide

Adopt A One-Child Policy To Fight Population Growth And Poverty

It should be our moral obligation to adopt a one-child policy. Especially in overpopulated African and Asian countries like India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uganda etc. People keen on having a large brood should incline more towards adoption. Population growth may not result in the poverty of a nation but its concentration has a huge impact on the state of wealth distribution.

One would think “more the merrier”, however, think of all the mouths to feed. Think of all the homeless living without basic sanitation and lacking basic two meals a day. It is ironical that in an already overpopulated country like India birthing kids is a de-facto. People often women stigmatise women lest they fail to breed. People often think along the lines “adopting is not the same as having your own child”.  And more often than not they’re afraid to feel the brunt of the society.

Instead of catering to the abundant destitute lives already present, we are still hell-bent on creating new lives? When you adopt, not only you contribute to curbing the population, you save a child from degradation and indigence. What we need is public awareness drive on adoption and its procedures on a humongous level.

The cause of hunger is not the shortages of resources. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have been possible to splurge on Military and worship houses. The reason is inequity, callous disregard of lower echelon of society and increasing lack of empathy. These stories of poverty should shame us all living comfortably on the planet albeit with dreadful inequality.

What do you think?

Written by SocialWhir

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