By Tanima Banerjee:
Today’s world is living in the age of global competition; where most of the developing countries are trying to climb the ladders of economic, industrial and technological progress and be the next self-sufficient super power, while the already developed countries are busy trying to consolidate their position at the peak. A certain country is preoccupied with being the next USA, and adopting stringent and harsh measures to achieve that dream, inconsiderate of the welfare of its own civilians. There is India, which is doing all it can to get that one seat in the Security Council, competing with South Africa and Brazil and allowing all sorts of foreign investments and opening India to the world, so that its industries can grow, and India can proudly present the picture of ‘India Shining’. The Commonwealth games were more of a platform for India to present itself in a platter to the world, by simply brushing away the slums and street vendors, and project world-class infrastructure of huge flyovers, clean roads, A/C buses and metros; in short a beggar-free , hi-tech India. But in the fight to finish, not just India, but the whole world is neglecting the real issues they need to address.
The helpless, poverty-stricken man who lives on less than $1 (Rs.32 in India) is the one who is getting neglected in these countries, which are not concentrating on the real issues they are facing, making the rich richer and the poor poorer. All the superficial development does not account for the 1 billion people around the world who still live in extreme poverty, and the 800 million who don’t get a single meal in the whole day and go hungry.
These numbers are not mere digits, but the dark, grim reality of our everyday life. The millions of poor people are not only not getting food, but their basic Human rights to health, education, work and welfare are also being denied. The need of the hour is not spending millions of money on flyovers and malls for the privileged public, but for all the countries to cooperate and show concern for the poor by using all that money to work towards their upliftment. Global poverty seems like an incurable ailment, but if all the nations cooperate towards this humanist goal of eradicating poverty from the roots, there is still hope for the rural and urban poor. These countries wherein reside people whose backs are broken by the burden of living in poverty ridden conditions, and have to see their own family members die of starvation, need to ensure that these people get an access to education and work. They need to make sure that the farmer who grows food for the whole nation mustn’t die of lack of food grain in his stomach. The poor need to be made into useful human resources for the country, so that they can work and justly get their dues from society.
There are innumerable programmes and plans the government make to provide the poor with proper employment, restoring the rights of the women and children to proper education, healthcare and sanitation, eradicating diseases and making the benefits of new technologies of information and communication available to them. But these plans should not just remain in paper, but need to be practically implemented. The whole International community should cooperate together in this problem. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), created by the international community in 2000, represent an unprecedented opportunity for the world to usher in a new era of collaboration in fighting poverty, by setting concrete targets to reduce extreme poverty by 2015. Yet very little time is left to bring these goals into reality. It’s high time for the government to work together with civil society, multilateral institutions and private sector entities. There should be debt-relief programmes and tariff- and quota-free access for their export for under-developed countries that are under high international debt. A good government that works for development and poverty-reduction at national and global level is required, and not one that focuses just on urban growth. No country can call itself to be progressing, until the poor in their country are denied of their basic necessities.
The needs of the less developed nations should be given special attention and care by the countries that are financially secure. Most importantly, the youth of these countries must be strengthened so that they can be capable of taking forward their country in the future. The poor need to be made self-sustainable so that they don’t die out of lack of money, food and medical facilities. These are little baby steps that can take such countries forward, for its only ideal that the whole world progresses in a wholesome manner, and no country has to remain crippled behind.
Image courtesy:Â http://www.taopo.org/isyu/12/09/2011/new-filipino-poverty-threshold-deception