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‘‘Make Poverty History’ Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Jude C Munaonye, Nigeria Oct 25, 2005
Health , Peace & Conflict   Opinions
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Many live, die and languish in misery, too weak to resist as they are bled dry of life. Most are locked in a daily struggle for survival. They seem vulnerable, they are often malnourished and their children go to bed hungry.

Hari, a south Asian farm laborer, painted with words and poetic eloquence the grim life and death cycle around him stated Awake Nov. 22 1995. “Between the mortar and the pestle” he said ‘the chilies couldn’t last. We poor are like chilies each year we are ground down and soon there will be nothing left’’ a few days later, Hari was dead – another victim of crushing poverty.

Poverty is like slavery. Most people would like to think so. The very word conjures up horrific pictures of hunger, exploitation and deficiency. The terrible nature and/or extreme of it is abject poverty. While relative poverty is a moderate or fairly high degree especially compared to abject poverty. The state of existing in amounts that are too small to buy ones basic needs could be traced to quit a number of factors.

War could be very devastating as it brings almost everything to a halt. That means that all work is brought to standstill, trade disrupted and inflation guaranteed. In situations like this, one has very little money for their needs and in most cases go without so many things.

Death of either of parents could cause a drastic drop in family income and as well the standard of living. Most people, especially children, have been exploited, abused and violently attacked on this account. Others have been forced to drop out of school and work in very hazardous and dangerous workplaces and many are dying a slow death from handling poisons and toxic wastes. While it is difficult for someone who is physically fit to secure a decent job and be well paid, it’s almost impossible for physically disabled in my local government. Granted, everyone preaches that they should not be discriminated but in the true sense of it employers see them as inefficient. Even if they find a job, they’ll be grossly underpaid.

While others argue that illiteracy is a contributing factor to poverty, I strongly believe that it’s not illiteracy but ignorance. If illiteracy were to be one of the causes of poverty, professors and scholars in different fields of study would have been the richest. When someone is aware of what it will take him to make money and be comfortable, the person will.

The health state of so many determines their standard of living. While so many have been bedridden and can no longer work or even have access to welfare services, so many others spend their little hard earned money on drugs. To manage some illness are quit expensive such as HIV/Aids and diabetes. The dependants of the sick person as well as his beneficiaries will all suffer a drastic drop in their standards of living. In extreme cases, his dependants will be looked upon to provide funds for the rescue of the life of the ill person.

‘‘Poorer people get HIV and become poorer. Dealing with poverty will help us deal with HIV/Aids and dealing with HIV/Aids will also help us to deal with the problem of poverty'’. Christopher Chabu Kangale, from Christian Aid's partner, Copperbelt Health Education Project, Kitwe, Zambia.

A few people don’t like to work, simply put, they are lazy and do as little as possible. They are satisfied with the food they can fetch their selves and if not, they can’t do otherwise. The society is a highly competitive one, survival of the fittest or elimination of the unfit?

Greedy and oppressive legislations by the government are only a couple of the major contributing factor to poverty. They make legislations that will only suit their selfish desires at the expense of the masses. They want to emancipate more wealth at all cost. They embezzle public treasuries and fail to disburse the resources allocated to the people. Some of those at the corridors of power sabotage the government. In fact there is a mess of the polity all at the expense of the helpless masses. All these and many more would account for many feeling frustrated and worthless, seeing little or no prospect of escaping their wretched lives. Child prostitution thrives in an environment of misery and poverty. In order to get something to eat, many may take to stealing and on many occasions sell their body. Next, she becomes a professional prostitute. Street children resort to prostitution because they see it as their only means of survival. For their male counterparts, those who can’t stand poverty, turn to thuggery (tout) and robbery as the next option. So many deviant and criminal acts are perpetrated just to improve ones standard of living. Some commit suicide when they can no longer cope with the hardship any more. Most untimely deaths are due to poor health care services and poor standard of living.
“Where poverty exists, there is not true freedom”, said Mandela, who wore a white strip of cloth around his wrist. “The world is hungry for action not words. I am proud to wear the symbol of this global cause to action”. These are the words of one of the world’s great leaders.

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Jude C Munaonye

I am Jude C Munaonye, coordinator, Living Hope Organization (http://livinghopeorg.8m.com) I have passion for people living with HIV. As a person that have HIV.See: http://allafrica.com/photoessay/nigeriaaids/photo4.html
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