Nation’s are judged not only on their GDP or development but also on the literacy rate of its people. We as a nation have not done much to address this important issue and as a result we see very high poverty rate in the country. It is important to understand the effects of poverty on people since as many as 1.7 billion people live in absolute poverty. Poverty is characterized by lack of basic human needs, which range from drinking water and shelter to basic healthcare and education.

The common causes of poverty in Pakistan is over population, unequal distribution of resources, unemployment, etc. The obvious effects include health problems, homelessness, crime and other activities that harm the nation. Many people in our country go to sleep without any food almost every day. Poverty also affects the health of these people and spread of diseases. Some prominent diseases which are more likely to affect people below the poverty line include AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, measles, pneumonia etc, which are attributed to lack of basic healthcare facilities. The diseases which can result in poverty include a range of mental illnesses which tend to hinder the ability of a person to work.

Children living in absolute poverty cannot afford basic education, those in relative poverty are forced to drop out half way into their elementary or middle school, the inability to pay fees and family responsibilities being two of the reasons. It also works the other way round as lack of education is an important cause of poverty in Pakistan, thus creating a vicious circle hard to break unless the state intervenes. As the government has shown no will to address any issues plaguing the nation we must all pitch in and do our part as we will all sink or swim together.

GHAZAL JADOON,

Lahore, November 21.