Poverty Eradication: Beyond Rhetoric & Apathy

Despite it all, as the adage goes, ‘the rich get richer and the poor get poorer’ and poverty can lead to some extreme social and moral consequences. Sadly, the global pandemic has aggravated the existing poverty issues. The number of people living under the international poverty lines for lower and upper middle-income countries is projected to have increased by a rate of 2.3 percentage points; which is likely to have pushed between 143 and 163 million people into poverty. Almost half of the projected new poor will be in South Asia, and more than a third in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Poverty has been a constant reality of every society and nation; history has enough pages covered with the plights and struggles of the poor. Texts are immersed in theories and conflicting arguments on poverty, its causes and eradication.
Undoubtedly, this has become a hot topic for ruling parties to muster support and continue their reign with the assurance of betterment for the days to come. International days and weeks are allotted on this topic to discuss and overcome this hurdle. Leaders and authorities meet and talk through the ongoing distress of this section of the community.

Despite it all, as the adage goes, ‘the rich get richer and the poor get poorer’ and poverty can lead to some extreme social and moral consequences. Sadly, the global pandemic has aggravated the existing poverty issues. The number of people living under the international poverty lines for lower and upper middle-income countries is projected to have increased by a rate of 2.3 percentage points; which is likely to have pushed between 143 and 163 million people into poverty. Almost half of the projected new poor will be in South Asia, and more than a third in Sub-Saharan Africa.
COVID-19 has already been the worst reversal on the path towards the goal of global poverty reduction in the last three decades. Thereby, quantitatively and qualitatively, there is a need to increase the urgency for individual and collective participation in uprooting this plague.
1. To start with, awareness is the key. Dates and days are marked to grasp the needed concern, educate the public, to mobilize political support and to reinforce good-will into the society. October 17th Is marked internationally for the ‘Eradication of Poverty’ to provide an opportunity to mark the struggle and effort of people living in poverty, a chance to do some good for them, make their concerns heard and a moment to recognize that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty.
2. For any betterment, every independent soul plays a crucial role and so it is for poverty eradication. Every spark of renaissance is from the root, and when an individual stands for this cause, positivity ripples into the society and the world at large. Muslims are taught to ensure that wealth is not concentrated in the hands of few, rather flowed to those in need. Thus, Muslims offer Zakat (compulsory charity) and Sadaqah (recommended charity). Such actions are highly rewardable and should be implemented across the globe.
3. Prosperous ones must make deliberate efforts to employ the needy ones, provide opportunities to make them work and get them paid on time. A little extra monthly charity can never empty the overflowing bank accounts but can uplift a generation for good. Establishing employment opportunities is directly proportional to poverty eradication and rather than solely depending on the government and industrialists to play their part on this, small efforts by each one can make an impact.
There is a need to develop regard and respect to every kind of ethical work, not just for the skilled jobs but also for everyday hard-working labor. No matter what the work is, it is always better than begging and deprivation. Giving charity is one solution and educating and establishing means for the needy to sustain is a better investment.
Eradication of poverty is in the need of a system of balance, where the wealthy provide and the needy struggle, sustain and establish a healthy society, and thereby, no class of a society is exploited.

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