Poor people are their own enemies

Poor people are their own enemies

Poverty is a vicious cycle that continues to plague India. When adjustments are made in the cost of living, a vast majority of India’s masses still continue to fall below the international extreme poverty line.

India’s teeming population is faced with shortages in infrastructure and lack of resources. India is home to one-third of the poor people of the world. Our social welfare indices are dismal compared to developed nations such as US and the European nations.

According to statistics provided by the World Bank and international consultancies such as McKinsey, India has lifted close to 35 million people out of poverty since the 1980s. If we hope to become an Asian superpower, it is imperative that we stop asserting poor people are their own enemies. It is the lack of adequate resources and inadequate utilization of social welfare funds that is the true enemy of poor people in our country.

Rapid increases in income inequality in rural and urban areas are adding further to the plight of India’s poverty ridden masses.

• Poverty is a reality of a vast number of Indian citizens in urban as well as rural areas. Insufficient food is the biggest issue confronting India. While successive governments of different political parties over the year have promised deliverance from the food scarcity, no comprehensive programs have been formulated so far that are realistic about providing a solution to the problem.

While food continues to rot in state warehouses, India’s poor continue to battle hunger and malnourishment. Poor people in India work for less than $1 per day to try and get enough food to survive.

• Lack of potable water and sanitation are also an enemy for poor people. Due to lack of proper living facilities, the poor continue to reside in squalid slums while the rich reside in lavish mansions. Corrupt politicians and bureaucrats amass huge amounts of wealth from scams and steal funds earmarked for the poor. They are the real enemies of poor people in India.

• Another evil that confronts India’s poor is the lack of opportunities they are currently facing. Failure on the part of the public and private sector to generate adequate training programs and opportunities for the poor is contributing to the vicious cycle further.

Poor people lack access to basic education. Even welfare programs are blighted by corrupt officials who siphon funds intended for uplifting the masses from poverty and misery.

• Inadequate access to healthcare facilities is also making life difficult for poor people in India. Lack of adequate primary health care centres and the abysmal condition of state hospitals is also a deterrent for the poor. Many poor people are turning to crime and the rising income inequalities are contributing to lawlessness.

• Poor people face evils such as crime, exploitation and abuse on a daily basis. They are unable to get employment because of lack of literacy, and the cycle continues to grow.

• International reports continue to provide disquieting data indicating that India has a long way to go before poverty is eliminated from our country. The real enemies of poor people are lack of food, energy, housing, sanitation, education, social welfare, employment and adequate health care. The road from poverty to empowerment is a long and difficult one. Any perception that poor people are their own enemies is a flawed distortion of the truth.


India’s poor continue to rise in numbers due to the inaction on the part of public and private sectors. Policies which are framed are not properly implemented. Rather than alleviating poverty, leaders are resorting to political bickering and name calling. Blame games do not make the problem go away. In fact, they make the problem even bigger. Poor people are not their own enemies.

It is a combination of lack of opportunities and inadequate infrastructure coupled with ineffective implementation of policies that is a true enemy of the poor in India. It is doubtful if political and corporate leadership will wake up any time soon to the harsh realities that are confronting the poor in India.
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  • RE: Poor people are their own enemies -Tom H (02/02/19)
  • I disagree that the poor are their own enemies because they make excuses for being poor. That's absurd. While it may be true among SOME poor, it isn't a reasonable answer for poverty in general. No one WANTS to be poor. Research at the UN and other international think-tanks shows that to combat poverty, among the things that are needed are BOTH capital for the poor AND mentorship/education on how to run businesses effectively. Parroting the old line that the poor make excuses for being poor is mindless and empirically false statistically speaking.

    One major reason I do believe the poor are their own enemies, though very controversial to mention while being backed by lots of research, is that the poor continue to have a lot of children. Research shows that having children while poor not only makes it much harder to get out of poverty, it places those children at grave risks, including the risk to remain poor themselves. Unless someone enjoys being poor, deprived of things they need and constantly struggling, that they would create new life to suffer in poverty seems irrational and even abusive. And the poor everywhere continue to do this despite reading article after article to this effect. Then they complain that those who have resources don't want to share them. Why should they when those resources are never enough because the current generation of poor will just make more and more poor? Yes, this sounds cruel or insensitive, but no matter the other reasons for poverty, until they're solved parents who force children to live in poverty are largely responsible for those children's tragedies AND for perpetuating poverty.
  • RE: Poor people are their own enemies -Deepa Kaushik (05/07/14)
  • Really poor people are those who are completely ignorant of the happenings of the society. Being poor is not a crime, but one should know how to lead a civilized life, which definitely demands social awareness. Poverty restricts from getting their kids getting educated into a higher level, and this in turn brews the next generation into the same pitch of ignorance and illiteracy.

    With corruption spreading like pest across the nation, hardly any policy or regulation gets fulfilled in practical world, providing the basic utilities to the poor people. These corrupt mid agents engulf the amount released for the betterment of the living of the poor section in bits and bites. With the ignorance, the poor gets satisfied with a drop sprinkled towards them from the huge sum allocated. They don’t know what, when and how to fight for their rights.

    Though the poor section is getting up and providing the basic education to their children, it is now the responsibility of those children to understand the hardships of their parents, and spread awareness amongst their group and stand up for their rights in the legal manner.

    The enmity for the poor will cease only with the spread of awareness and importance of education to their kids.
  • Poor people are their own enemies -Lubna Lakdawala (04/02/14)
  • Poor people are their own enemies

    “Poor people are their own enemies” this statement is true to a great extent. As Bill Gates quoted that “it is not your fault if you are born poor, but if you die poor it is your fault”. Poor people often have certain habits which keep them poor. Following are some habits that make poor people their own enemies.

    I. They don’t save or invest: The poor and the rich both work for money. But the rich people often follow the principle of making their money to earn for them. This means they first save and then invest earning good returns. The poor people often fail to follow this.

    II. They keep poor company: the rich go where the money is which basically means that some careers business locations have better chances of making money than others. The poor if they fail in some career or location do not take the initiative to shift from it to a better career or locations.

    III. They focus on financial survival: One of the major factors which make poor people their own enemy is that they only focus on survival forgoing many of the essential needs. Since they are so used to avoiding luxuries they do not even know what they are. And thus they only focus on cutting back on their needs rather than to increase their income. They try to fit their needs according to the limited income they get. Whereas like the rich, they should be focusing n fitting the income to accommodate all their needs.

    IV. They expect a financial miracle! The poor want easy money in other words they want to get rich overnight. Thus they fall into the trap of betting gambling, casino, and other get-rich-quick activities, hoping to get lucky. But in reality they end up make more debts for themselves and making the casino owners rich.

    V. They fail to recognize potential money: poor people often fail to realize that money can come in other forms as well such as assets, talents, knowledge etc. many people are talents and abilities which can be taken up as careers eraing them a lot money.

    VI. They Justify being poor. The poor often justify being poor and give all sorts of excuses for their failure to become rich. For eg. The economy is into recession. I don’t have Abc degree, I am too old now etc. They do not realize that justifying being poor would not make them rich.

    The poor people thus sometimes don’t realize that these habits are self-destructing and make them their own enemies. For them to overcome poverty they should overcome these habits.