Poverty In Pakistan

(Hiba Ahsan, karachi)

Poverty is a curse. Pakistan is a poor and under developed country. Most of its population lives in entirely adverse circumstances. Some reports reveal that more than forty percent population of Pakistan lives below the line of poverty. Four out of 10 Pakistanis are living in acute poverty with the population of Balochistan faring the worst among the provinces, according to Pakistan’s first-ever official report on multidimensional poverty.

A large number of people in our country do not have proper place to live, this miserable condition has given birth to a large number of beggars and needy people who live on the charity of the rich people. The economic condition of an average individual is very pathetic. Poverty; hunger and unemployment afflict a large section of population. The causes of poverty are quite obvious and known.

A STUDY on poverty has brought Pakistan face to face with a reality that it will find hard to accept: every third Pakistani is caught in the ‘poor’ bracket i.e. some 58.7 million out of a total population of 180 million subsist below the poverty line.

This includes more than half the population in the forever remote Balochistan, 33 per cent in Sindh, 32 per cent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 19 per cent in Punjab. These are daunting figures. But they are much needed for planning, especially when the government appears too embarrassed to release statistics related to poverty. The Sustainable Development Policy Institute, which has carried out this economic-mapping exercise, is justified in calling for the release of government figures and for a policy to combat acute poverty. These are facts which are being kept under wraps at great peril to the country.

At one time, not so very long ago, a Pakistani could proudly say, while drawing a comparison with India where millions slept hungry at night, that no-one in his country went to bed with an empty stomach. No more, alas! The spiralling rise in the prices of goods of daily use, on the one hand, and the static incomes on the other have combined to spread hunger, which now affects a large segment of our society. And if one were to add the growing incidence of unemployment caused by inflationary pressures, the picture would become starker.

Firstly we are facing a population explosion. There are more mouths to feed than there are hands to earn. Ones income is limited; he cannot afford to maintain a large family. He works hard and consequently he falls ill and dies. Then his wife steps in works in village, fields or city, homes to bring up her children, this cycle of poverty goes on. Poor remain a poor, the whole of his life. The main cause of poverty in Pakistan lies in the difference between the resources and the population increase.

Secondly most of the people in Pakistan are uneducated. They are ill equipped to lead a good life; they do not know the modern methods of farming. They are ignorant to better ways of earning money in the mills and factories with poor knowledge of life. They cannot increase production in mills and factories. Modern machinery is mostly computerized. An uneducated person cannot understand and operate computer. The result is that the remains poor till the last day of his life. It is very sad that result do not educate the workers. The workers do not get a chance to earn more money.

Thirdly our economic system is based on feudalism. A big landlord keeps the small farmers and workers under his political slavery. In Punjab and Nwfp the same condition exists. The economic condition of the small farmers and workers cannot become better in the presence of feudal lords.

Fourthly, Pakistan is a country where does not exist any form of social, cultural and economic justice. The rich people in Pakistan are becoming richer while the poor are becoming poorer. The economic disparity between the rich and the poor has eaten the very vitals of society. The interesting thing is that no ruler has paid attention to minimize this disparity. The rich do not pay taxes; they do not abide by any law. They live in a rich bungalow, ride a beautiful car and send their children to costly schools. They enjoy every comfort and luxury of life without any hindrance.

Fifthly poverty in Pakistan exists due to scarcity of jobs in the public and government sector. Our rulers are not responsible, dedicated and missionary. They failed to build new dams, a network of industry and roads in the country. The shortage of electricity and gas has resulted the lock up of mills and factories. New factories were not set up in the past. The result is that our uneducated worker remains unemployed the educated people have degrees, but they do not have opportunities to get job.

To solve this cause, Pakistan have to adopt the following measures:

The rulers of Pakistan must discard their lavish way of living. They must be one with their people; they must lead a life of a common and hard working person. This will go a long way to bride over the disparity between a rich and poor person. The population explosion must be controlled. People should be educated and guided to produce small number of children. More industries, mills and factories should be set up to provide jobs to the workers and small farmers.

Education must be made compulsory for all the individuals in Pakistan. It will train them earn more money by using their skill in a modern way. Opportunities to get computer education should also be increased. To address the root causes of poverty, the key issue is to provide quality education.

Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime. It is not natural it is man-made and can be reduce by justice and quality education because the best way to end poverty is to empower people through access of quality education. Moreover, if we can’t feed the people but atleast we have to fund a war against this cause because it’s time to restore humanity.

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