A poison called poverty

“Anyone who has struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor” – James Baldwin
Poverty is a condition where people face actual shortage of resources required for living. Poverty is usually described in economics terms but in reality it is much more than that. It is not merely lack of necessities but it also extends to issues pertaining to deprivation, discrimination and social disadvantage. It can also relate to unequal distribution of wealth in a society.
‘The cycle of poverty’ as they say, explains why poverty continues amongst the same sections of society. Starting with lack of resources, poor people live a life poverty wherein they cannot get proper education. This leads to unemployment and further poverty. Thus it is evident that poverty begets poverty.
Poverty is often associated with deprivation. Here a person feels he/she is not getting what he/she deserves.
Poverty and deprivation have their own impacts on individuals. Poor people have low motivation and low aspirations. They believe in fate or luck and tend to have low self esteem. It’s not an individual way, but a belief system which is formed by their experiences in a life filled with poverty. This is called the ‘culture of poverty’ and it serves as both cause and effect of poverty. It convinces poor people that they will remain poor and this belief is carried over from one generation to the next.
Poverty and deprivation are also linked to social disadvantage. It is very true that certain sections of the society enjoy more privilege than others. As for poor people, they are not allowed to enjoy the same privileges as the rest of the society. Prolonged deprivation effects individuals espacially children. The environment in which a child grows significantly affects his/her development and it is reflected in their task performance. It has been observed that intellectual functioning and task performance of deprived people are lower than those of who are not deprived.

Social disadvantage and discrimination go hand in hand. Once you are a part of disadvantaged section, you are bound to face discrimination at some point of time. Discrimination refers to behaviours or practices that make distinction between rich and poor. Obviously the rich are favoured over poor and disadvantaged.
This discrimination is quite visible in matters of education, employment, social interaction etc. Even if children of poor people have skills and capabilities, they fail to pursue their dreams because they cannot avail the opportunities rest of the society can. Social disadvantage and discrimination together contribute towards preventing the poor people from improving their economic condition. It can be seen that discrimination is the cause and effect of poverty as well.
Some people say that poor people are themselves responsible for poverty and that they lack motivation or abilities to utilise the opportunities that they are given. This view however, is very negative and does not help in making them any better. The economic system is made in such a way that it doesn’t do any good to poor people either. It is therefore safe to say that poverty is like poison and once it enters the lives of the people, it continuously deteriorates them.