Poverty is the mother of crime. –Marcus Aurelius
In order to create the future we want, we have to work hard and passionately towards it. The mistakes that we do in our past are what make our future. We have to learn from our past mistakes, work hard in the present and the future is right at the corner smiling and shining like a bright star. We want a future that is peaceful, where everyone is treated equally and every single man and woman on the planet has access to education. And that future can be created by eradicating the mother of all crimes, poverty. We have to put our time, resources, energy and life in it. Eat, sleep, feel, and live like them for a day so we understand that this is how the poor live for 365 days a year.
When I think about my future, I think about the 1.7 billion people who are forced to live in poverty each day. I want a future where I don’t see a single beggar on the streets because like Eli Khamarov said:
Poverty is like punishment for a crime you did not commit.
My definition of poverty says –
Poverty is the state wherein one is unable to fulfil the basic necessities of life. And by necessities I mean three meals a day, clothes and a roof on their heads.
I believe that poverty is the biggest problems of all. Justice, peace, equality are all things that come after poverty. When you don’t have anything to eat, clothes to protect and cover your bodies or a roof on your heads, what good will justice, peace, equality do?
To solve a problem, one has to know the causes of it. There are a lot of causes of poverty but one of the major is structural adjustment like cuts back on health, education and other vital social things. Food aid (when not given in emergency relief) also becomes a problem because it helps only for the time being and is bad in the longer run. And sometimes it is not given to help them. It is given to control them. Over population, high birth rates, lack of distribution of resources and education are some other causes of the problem. Some other factors include high rate of unemployment, unfair trade, corruption, poor governance and natural disasters.
I believe that the solution to all of the above mentioned factors which cause poverty is simple. Education is the key solution to poverty. Educated people do family planning, thus reducing birth rates. One of the major factors is unemployment. That can be solved by increasing the country’s foreign exchange and opening new hospitals, new schools, new companies etc which will provide opportunities and is all done by the government. That way unemployment will decrease and the villagers will have a chance to improve their lives by coming to the city for jobs. Education gives you vision and a sense of how to deal with things.
Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names. Instead of giving funds and aid to the poor that is just helpful for the time being, we will set up an organization that will give free education. We will not do something that affects/benefits only the present generation, we will educate them that will benefit them for generations. We will not improve their lifestyles and their lives. We will give them means, skills, training in different things and provide opportunities of doing that by themselves. We will motivate them to stand up for themselves and work for their future and betterment. We will give them a hope to have a future like ours. Instead of working for them, we will work with them to have a future that all of us can share and cherish.
Organizations like, End Poverty 2015 Millennium Campaign, CARE (Defending Dignity, Fighting poverty), Action Against Poverty (AAP), IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development by United Nations) can help us in our cause because they believe in the same thing. i.e. eradication of poverty.
Doing all this is not easy and it cannot be done in a year or even in a decade. But I believe that if we do all this, we may not be able to change our present but we will definitely change the future. A day will come when there will be no poverty in the world even if we are not there to live it.
Like Khalil Jibran I also believe,
Poverty is a veil that obscures the face of greatness.
This is the essay I wrote for the UNESCO competition and I have to say, it is by far the worst essay I have ever written. What is happening to me?