POVERTY - THE BLAME GAME

    Poverty is one heart-wrenching word that conjures sympathy or empathy; it is not a new experience but has become grand and grander over the years – it can no longer be ignored. ‘Fighting poverty’ is now a glorified cliché employed by both the well meaning and the ill minded, a weapon wielded to get attention and a ticket to access certain level of resources. The irony of it all is that the sufferer is mostly left out of the mix –weak to speak so he or she cannot be heard, deprived of access and consequently denied of choice yet entertains a will to survive. Poverty has set the stage for different players volunteering to eradicate it – government, mediators and the motivated sufferer - a comforting phenomenon! To end the scourge, we need to find the cause. Something or someone must be responsible for the marauding poverty and its gruesome effects. Hence, the blame game begins!

    The biggest blame goes to the government who remains the authentic custodian of national resources with the sole responsibility of fair distribution among the citizens. The sufferer and the mediator would not relent taking a poke at the government for their lack of commitment to its ailing members. How does the government react? Successive government blames previous ones and point fingers at de-facto rulers. “That’s a good place to hide,” they must have envisaged but that does not absolve them of their primary responsibilities. The next thing; they metamorphosed into a faceless government. Yes! Faceless! When citizens do not know their government representative or could hold him or her accountable – that’s a faceless affair. So the game continues.

    What about the mediators who have taken up the fight against poverty? They appear to head in the right direction even when most of the time is spent to talk the talk. At least the sufferer is given a hope that it would be better one day. Hmmm…ONE DAY…that’s the error of the mediator! When, how and what to do is left to some extra terrestrial intervention while the mediators are equally distracted by their own survival in the system. Certain allegations have trailed the mediators; the green-eyed monster – Greed, has overtaken them. They spend more on keeping the fight on than saving the sufferer and it’s becoming clear that the fight is a canopy for the lazy mediators who find it easy to talk in order to get paid from the resources they have luckily accessed for the poor fellows. Where does the blame stop?

    Oh! The sufferer is in constant turmoil as emissaries of poverty – hunger, homelessness, diseases, shame and the rest - visit him or her. Even as the ultimate object of pity, the sufferer posses an undying desire to make it to the next day and the next and the next until hope is built on hope and chains of lack are broken. Yet he is not without blame! Unless disastrous situations have caused the unforetold misfortune, the sufferer must have contributed to the situation either by behaviour or ignorance. Many sufferers have taken solace in the mountain of pity created by the mediators and enjoy their onlooker status in the fight against poverty while producing their kind in numbers.

    Should we ignore the blames and fight Poverty relentlessly together. NO! That is where the real fight must start – no need to drop the blames; just sincerity is what is needed to see things the way they are, forget our selfishness and move with a common goal to impound the scourge. Let the government become human again, the mediators truly deny themselves and sufferers leave their comfort zones with a positive spirit to fight their way out of poverty.