During the recent past season of monsoon, which saw record-breaking rainfall in Pakistan, it saw people indulging and focusing on hurdles in the big cities with facilities and luxuries. Mass debates were held to discuss the facts of life and how everyday life was affected. Vigorous emphasis and analysis were conducted on the lack of infrastructure, dearth of planning and vision in the development of major cities. All one saw on news channels on a daily basis was the inadequacies in the utilization of available resources and absence of pertinent departments in aiding the public.
Major focus was placed on the inefficiencies of Karachi Electric (KE), Water and Sewerage Board, our Government departments etc. However, what was absent during all of this was the plight and hardships faced by our underprivileged during these challenging times living in the remote areas/villages of Pakistan.
We as a nation are so engrossed and engulfed in our own petty problems that we tend to forget and count our blessings and this is not to point fingers at anyone but after all, we are humans at the end of day. These are the people of our society who are regularly faced with demanding realities of life, which we just faced for certain hours or days for some. None of us could imagine life and the problems or live through it for extended length. In addition, to be fair to the mass public, I did some research and was pleasantly surprised to find out that Pakistan ranks amongst the top countries when it comes to charity. A study conducted by Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy shows that Pakistanis contribute around Rs. 240 billion (USD 1.5 billion approx) annually towards charity. Nevertheless, despite all that we do as a nation, we need to do more. With the ongoing pandemic, which has impacted every corner of the planet, it was estimated that an additional 10 million people will fall below the poverty line in Pakistan alone.
Poverty reduction, or poverty alleviation, is a set of measures, both economic and humanitarian, that are intended to permanently lift people out of poverty. Poverty reduction is one of the world’s most important challenges, and it is proposed that every sector has a role to play in creating the economic growth, employment and purchasing options needed for significant poverty reduction.
There is no permanent solution; however, it is a constant struggle for the third world countries, where poverty is increasing and people are striving to have necessities of life.
I do not want to get into the numbers regarding poverty, the numbers will not serve the purpose and it will not create any kind of impact on society. It is a known fact, everyone is aware about it, and probably most of the people do discuss the issue. The challenge is to work on it and try to develop the mindset to combat poverty. I have always strived with a very basic concept when dealing with issues; I put myself in the other person’s shoes and imagine what he or she may go through to relate to the situation. As a nation, we fail to provide economic solution to our society, never the less as on humanitarian grounds, our nation has been recognized throughout the world. This is a constant battle and we have to move towards economic solution and empowering people. Thus, to conclude what stood out to me was to empower the people to determine their needs versus solution. However, it opens another Pandora Box that how to empower people. Many studies have been conducted to empower the people but the resultsare extremely slow or negligible. Therefore, the solution may not be a solution after all.
And then we are left with only one choice that as a nation all of us will have to involve ourselves and pitch in by creating mind set to fight against poverty and provide our underprivileged with a fighting opportunity while the people in power strive to find solutions or properly put economic solution not only humanitarian.