A lot of people are dying just by virtue of absolute poverty; future(s) of children are being destroyed just by the same factor; there is hardly a facet of life that is left untouched by this scourge. We, in the modern era, must find solutions to such a menace. It is both our religious and ethical duty.
The following vignette might offer a glimpse into the scourge of poverty.
Few days ago, we had some guests coming in, so I had to go out to buy some stock from a bakery shop. I went on and on trying to find a good and reputed shop. Finally, after walking a lot I found the very shop I was looking for. I was very exhausted and getting a headache. So, I had had some bread with French fries. After tasting these, a kind of guilt visited me so much so that I wasn’t able to eat these delicacies.
I have something to narrate that will illustrate the foregoing point.
A very small child, defined by melancholia, with beautiful eyes flooded by tears, and a bright face that can describe everything without uttering a word enjoined me to give me some money so that she could eat. I just wanted to curl up and die on seeing her talking in such a way. She may have a tragedy behind. I gave her a 50 rupee note. After receiving it, the little girl went to and fro begging for money by showing some documents, but unfortunately they didn’t bother to listen to her; some even were rudely talking at her. I couldn’t take a look at her documents. On that day, I came to the realization that we can’t be a civilized people. The vitals of our humanity have been hollowed out.
While observing the poor child, I saw something uncanny happening. She was writing something on the wall outside, I tried to decipher the scribbles but it was very hard to make what she had written. Eventually, I went home. After serving the guests, and as my thoughts returned to the girl I began asking myself, “Who was she? Why was she begging at a very young age? Why she was inscribing something on the wall? Why people didn’t bother to listen to her?”. The answer that revealed itself was that this is what precisely poverty meant.
Helping the poor out is a practical, moral and a religious imperative. It’s very much pivotal to keep in mind that they’re humans alike and perhaps even stronger than us. We can do beyond what we think. We can help them whether in the form of money or a loaf of bread. We have to keep inspiring, encouraging them and not look down at them. I believe the mere small things will eventually make a bigger impact.
—The author is a poet, writer and a student of knowledge. He can be reached at: [email protected]