Down and Out

Although I have read a number of writings, the essay “What is Poverty?” written by Jo Goodwin, holds much meaning and an emotional impression in my heart. In this essay, Goodwin talks about different aspects of what poverty is and connects with relevant evidences from her childhood and adulthood. She also gives us a glimpse of what she and her three children undergo on a daily basis because of poverty. Jo says that being poor is a distasteful reality for her family. Because there was no money, her family had to suffer from different kinds of diseases like malnutrition and chronic anemia due to lack of health facilities. She experienced a different life after she got married, but the happiness didn’t last long after her husband left her and provided no support. Through this essay, Jo wanted to convey the message to us that the poor are in need of desperate help.

            Poverty is a way of life that a person can’t easily escape out of it without strong support from someone or the government. Poverty can be seen everywhere in this universe. It exists even in my homeland. Bhutan is a small country located in the eastern Himalayas between China to the north and India to the west. The majority of Bhutanese people depends and derives their livelihood from agriculture. The distribution of land and assets are relatively equal, yet most sectors of the population are very rich or very poor.

            The majority of the people in Bhutan live in the rural areas, and most of the poverty stricken people are found in those isolated areas where they don’t get good access to facilities like health, education, electricity, etc. The children in this community have to walk a great distance to attend school; therefore, most of the parents don’t send their children to school, resulting into the increase of uneducated population. Furthermore, the rural people don’t know productive skills on how to improve their living standards. Since there are no industries and factories in those regions, they don’t have the opportunity to work, so gradually this factor can lead to poverty.

            When I came to Bangladesh for my studies, I was so much amazed to see hundreds of beggars in such a small street of Chittagong. Because of not having proper housing, they have to sleep in the pathways, deserted home, and public streets. They have to stay hungry and thirsty. After encountering those people, I was deeply touched and came to realize how lucky I am of having a roof over my head and having food to eat. Therefore, we must keep in mind that poverty is not a choice, but it’s a lifestyle a person faces due to many circumstances. We must never look down upon the poor people; they are also human beings just like us. Instead, we as a whole must try our best to contribute every little support that we can in every small ways.

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One Response to Down and Out

  1. rstha says:

    I agree with you as I too found the essay very heart toughing. I have never gone so deep about poverty. This essay had made me feel what a poverty looks like and how it feels to be poor. About the poverty of Bangladesh, I have never seen poverty so close in my real life. it feels really very bad to see people lying on the road helplessly specially children as they have whole life to live. I request everyone to help the poor and neey ones.

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