“Poverty is a natural phenomenon-it cannot be eradicated”
Poverty dwells amidst the hungry, within the homeless, dealing with hardships of heat and frost. Poverty is the helplessness felt when the sick are deprived of medical care, when the society drowns deeper into the realms of illiteracy, when the fear of being unemployed forces one into illegal means like corruption. Poverty swells in the tears of the powerless old, reflected in the void eyes of the innocent childhood, trapped in the limbs of the handicapped, in the eyes, ears, voice of the blind, deaf, and dumb. Although there are many successful attempts in the significant reduction of poverty, in reality, this ‘natural occurrence’ is still a universal existence even in the world today nonetheless. Yet, poverty cannot be considered as a “natural phenomenon”. A natural phenomenon is a non-artificial event in the physical sense, and therefore not produced by humans, although it may affect humans (e.g. bacteria, aging, natural disasters). Common examples of natural phenomena include volcanic eruptions, weather, and decay. Natural phenomenon certainly aggravates poverty conditions, perhaps may even be one of the causes of the indigent situation. When struck by natural calamities or disasters like in the Tsunami and Katrina, or even the SIDR cyclone that hit Bangladesh only recently [15th November’2007]1, or even when suffering from the spread of decay ad decomposition, people are left in devastated destruction which in due time does lead to notions of poverty in terms of lack of proper shelter, food supply, medical care, protection against the atmospheric changes, and other such essential needs of present mankind. It is such adversity, not poverty itself, which can be treated as a natural phenomenon.
Poverty is one of the most persistent sides of our economic heredity, to some extent, spreading like a disease in the society, feeding on the remains. Around 30,000 people in the world die every day because they are too poor to stay alive2. It masquerades all over the world, changing its disguise from place to place over time. But unlike natural phenomenon, it can be dealt with by being controlled up to a certain degree, and if the means of poverty alleviation are executed and maintained properly, at one point it can be eradicated. At present there is numerous alleviation programs, eradicating policies, overcoming measurements developed globally to leave poverty behind in the past for the future of the coming years. Such policies have been made and adopted worldwide, literally, and yet, poverty seems reluctant to walk away. The World Bank's "Voices of the Poor," based on research with over 20,000 poor people in 23 countries, identifies a range of factors which poor people identify as part of poverty. These include precarious livelihoods, excluded locations, physical limitations, gender relationships, problems in social relationships, lack of security, and abuse by those in power, disempowering institutions, limited capabilities, and weak community organizations3. Here, the problem is not of the means or methods of alleviating poverty but of the proper, effective, and efficient implementation and management of them. That is why some countries have been successful at their attempts in reducing poverty where others are still suffering its effects. Regardless of the causes of poverty, its eradication, even though is challenging, is still possible. One of the major causes of extreme poverty is said to be overpopulation, which is usually found in small developing countries, mostly in South Asian countries like India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, South Korea, China,4 etc. In contrast to India and Bangladesh, both of which are struggling with an overpopulated nation that has an escalating rate of poverty still now, other similarly overpopulated countries like Malaysia, Korea, and China have been able to reduce poverty significantly over time, due to their proper planning, policies,...
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