Is Poverty only Lack of Money?

SOCIO-ECONOMIC biases are prev­alent by large in our society. Not only do the poor fall short of resources that directly de­pend on money but also empathy and respect. The biases that stem from downward classism are more often than not explicitly functional in our everyday lives.

The troubles associated with pov­erty stretch far beyond the realm of unaffordability on account of figures. In workplaces, or other social insti­tutions, individuals belonging to the economically weaker sections of soci­ety are often not held in the same es­teem as their relatively affluent coun­terparts. This is an undeniable dark truth of our society. The unfortunate fact that the lack of health care and hygienic living conditions breed sev­eral physical diseases is known and well established.

Besides physical ailments, the sta­tistics unequivocally suggest that the poor are far more vulnerable to develop psychosocial disabilities in compari­son to the economically privileged. A study conducted by the centre of social justice revealed that in Britain, chil­dren and adults coming from families that fall within the lowest 20% of the income spectrum are twice or thrice more likely to develop a mental health issue compared to those whose income fall within the highest end of the spec­trum. A similar revelation was made by the Millennium Cohort Study in 2012 that declared the children with household incomes falling in the low­est quintile are 4.5 times more likely to develop acute mental health problems compared to the highest.

Child labour is one of the most brutal repercussions of poverty. The children from these families not only have to go through the tribulations of living a life with inadequate means but also the onus of making endeavours in or­der to find means of alleviation from this situation.

This deprives them of an educa­tion and the opportunities that come along. Hence, creates a viscous cycle because a lack of awareness further pushes them deeper into the porthole of misery. However, it must be articu­lated that poverty is not an exhaustive means of hindrance.

Racism, sexism, caste system, ho­mophobia etc are all impediments to one’s growth.

In all ages and times, the world has witnessed people who were averse to the idea of poor ascent. The ones who make class denying claims regard­ing our society need to abandon their heavily rose-tinted glasses of oblivion. Charles Dickens in his second novel, Oliver Twist, depicted a society that treated poverty as a crime and this did not sit well with some of his contem­poraries who found this portrayal as problematic and far from truth. This still holds true for the present world full of elitists and class apologists.

Taqwa Qadri

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