Acting together to achieve social and environmental justice for all

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By Muneer Shamee

Poverty is the state or condition in which an individual or a family earns little money required for survival. People living below the poverty line lacks basic needs, have poor education, forced to engaged in child labour, generally unemployed and usually vulnerable to many fatal disease as well. An International Day to put an end of global poverty known as World Poverty Day hitherto known as The International Day for Eradication of Poverty held annually on October 17. Celebrated first in Paris in 1987 by father Joseph Wresinski to pay tribute to the sufferer of penury, famishing, ferocity and fear, it was in December 1992 The UN General Assembly declared October 17 as the World Poverty Day. Nearly 1 billion people who are extremely poor  and 764 million people below poverty line remained in absolute poverty. World Bank has estimated a daily per capita International poverty line- a minimum of 1.90 dollar a day as of October 2015. In India poverty line may be defined people having less than 538.60 rupees per month and for rural dweller it is less than 356.63 per month. Nearly 6.7% of India’s population live below poverty line. In the last decade nearly 271 million people left out the demarcated poverty line.

As reported by UNICEF 22000 children die each day due to penury. By 2030 UN declared to eradicate poverty in all forms. Due to poverty, poor faces health related issues like early death, mental as well as physical illness, inadequate medical care, asthma or obesity, diabetes, heart disease. Minimal income force them to have insufficient and inadequate balanced diet. Physical ineffectiveness reduces them to perform well in studies and low employment scopes. People struggle hard to earn their bread and butter, risk of insecurity, hunger, starvation, illness, thirst and malnutrition constantly features them . People suffer more due to lack of job opportunities or job oriented programmes and government’s inability in handling the precarious situation.

High poverty and fatality rates are predominant features of underdeveloped countries and nations. Poverty can be categorised in six forms. Situational poverty is sudden loss or crisis due to natural calamity or other health related problems. Generational poverty where the families of two generations born into poverty and struggle to survive. They have limited scope to come out of the challenging situation. Absolute poverty is the lack of things for survival like shelter, water and food. In the Relative poverty family have meagre income to meet the average standard of living. Urban poverty where people failed to get proper and adequate city services and they often face the problem of noise, violence, overcrowding etc. In a Rural poverty a single bread earner is the sole supporter of big families with little education, inadequate health care and limited job scopes. With these limitations they are more vulnerable to the disruption, uncertainty and deprivation.

COVID-19 crisis poses great threat to the developing and underdeveloped nations shattering their economies and millions of death. It hasn’t left behind rich countries as well but they overcome the present situation by their strong financial sustenance. Poor countries poses great threat as they have less healthy infrastructure and deep socio-economic impact. Poor people of poor countries strive hard to survive at the minimal level as their jobs are snatched, labourers wandering here and there, frequent imposition of lockdowns, everincreasing  containment zones and showing no signs of relief for last 8 months. Nearly 195 millions people lost their jobs during these pandemic causing shock to the whole world. No work no pay, no livelihood and less source of income beyond that there is overall economic collapse around the world. During lockdowns migrant labourers or workers are worsley effected as they have nothing to eat, drink or no medical help. India’s 90% workers are casual or migrant labourers who are stuck down on one place due to irregular and unavailable transport services. Though India’s government has implemented various health and safe packages to these poor householders but they are too little to meet their daily requirements.

On this day our goal should be enriching poor people by education, training and allowing varying scopes of success and achievements. First and foremost things to eliminate the poverty is to suppress the spreading of virus so that everything goes on normal. Financial help or sustenance to these poor nations would encourage their means of livelihood. Major cashback transfer programmes should be introduced to mitigate the poverty. Nearly 30-40% GDP of poor nation rely on tourism. Travel and tourism has been major setback of these nations. Promoting tourism can solve their problems to some extent. These global issues should be addressed only by controlling global pandemic by collaborative cooperation of people and nation. International Monetary Fund provides fund to these nations to survive and thrive. By ensuring easy access of productive resources to these poor people and by implementing various agricultural related programmes we can end poverty. We can help the poor by providing right education, procuring basic needs, appropriate training with equal scope for men and women.

(Muneer Shamee can be reached at

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