The Scourge of Poverty


Countless people are dying as a consequence of poverty; the future of children, being devastated by the same factor, and there is hardly a facet of life that is left untouched by this scourge. We, in the modern era, must find solutions for the overwhelming number of people that face such a situation in life and are in need of help. It is both our religious and ethical duty to come forward and help people to mitigate the effects of this plight, if not eradicate it entirely.

The following vignette/episode might offer a glimpse into this scourge.

A couple of days ago, I had some guests coming home and I had to go out and buy some things from the market. It was an exhausting day, and I stopped by a bakery shop to satiate my hunger. Before I could fill my belly, a small child with winsome, bright eyes; brimmed with tears, beautiful face; thick with grime, passed by. Her gait described everything, and she came closer to me seeking alms (money) to buy something to eat. I lost my appetite and I felt powerless. 

Her condition was evidence of a tragic story, a story that landed her in such a state of being. I gave her a 50 rupee note and the little girl continued seeking alms from others while showing some documents. But, unfortunately they didn’t bother listening, some even disparaged her and shunned her off. On that day, I realized that we can’t be a civilized society, and the vital core values of our humanity have been hollowed out.

Whilst observing the poor child I saw something strange happen. She was writing something on a wall outside. As I tried to decipher the scribbles, I found that she had scratched the wall with alphabets and words I could hardly comprehend.

Eventually, I went home. After serving the guests, and as my thoughts returned, I began asking myself: “Who was she? Why was she begging at such a young age? Why was she scribbling something on the wall? Why didn’t anyone bother to listen to her?” Whatever the question, one thing was clear; it was poverty that had brought her onto the streets.

Helping the poor should be our practical, moral and religious duty. It is important to keep in mind that were all humans. Apart from the failure of our leaders, it is also a collective failure of our society and people who have turned a blind eye to these issues. We have been drained of empathy and all that matters is our own wellbeing.

A loaf of bread or some cash might temporarily help a destitute, but an organized, organic and well thought plan could help thousands and eventually eradicate this scourge. 

Peer Faizan Bashir

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