Analysis on Poverty and Human Dignity

The glaring reality that shows man’s economic disparity heightens every sector’s involvement in educating those who are unaware of the prevalence of moral decadence owing to the undignified level of human existence.

I am not talking about the elite sector of the society who have the means to choose according to their resources. This writer advances the plight of those who are truly in need of assistance and deserving of government and private support.

They are the poor people living in the slum areas. They are the people who are living below the poverty line. They are my poor Bangsamoro brothers and sisters.

Who is classified as people living below the poverty line? These are the people who have nothing to eat, no shelter from the rain and the sun and no access to education. Absolutely nothing. They have nothing but human dignity.

Really? “How could one living in such misery have a dignity?”, asked by one rich man. In a point-blank manner, I replied: “Everyone has self-dignity in spirit, whether moneyed or penniless.

Poor families are classified as people belonging to the cut-off point below whose income, if they have, cannot buy them the needed foods for their daily nutritional requirements nor can they pay the minimal cost of medical care.

Poverty is both an economic and a moral problem. They are intertwined. Lack of money could drive an individual to do something against his moral values. It is a situation of choice: the fast or hard way to earn money. Many of those who lost their patience will choose the easy way.

Crimes against properties and humanity are oftentimes a consequence of desperation, of having no available legal means to acquire money, hence, resorting to such crimes is the only way for the survival of those in dire need.

Police and military authorities find it hard to contain crime syndicates owing to this ideology. By providing legitimate means for the unemployed could lessen the number of growing criminals out of poverty.

On the other hand, there are still poor people who will not immerse themselves into something illegal for they respect their individuality as they hold firmly to their principles.

Living in poverty is an excruciating experience. The Philippines was on a spotlight in 2007 owing to the suicide of Marianne Amper, an eleven-year-old girl who hanged herself inside their shanty. Reports alleged that she killed herself owing to their economic condition in life.

Amper’s family has no running water or electricity. She oftentimes had to be absent from school for she had no money for transportation fare and school projects. Her father had been out of a job for several months while her mother works part-time at a noodle factory, earning less than a dollar a day.

While it is not conclusive that poverty was one of the reasons that pushed Marianne to commit suicide, her case has opened the eyes of many people from all walks of life to understand the plight of the poor thus making it imperative for all sectors, both in the government and private, to work together to find means to assist the indigent in their ordeal.

World leaders must prioritize the need to conquer food security for the indigent for it means providing the legitimate direction based on the merits of governmental policies that will uniquely insulate the rights and privileges of the underprivileged. Foremost of which is the preservation of human dignity.

- Princess Maleiha B. Candao (PMBC)



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