One of the most complex problems in the world is poverty. Despite being a ubiquitous word, multiple aspects lead to poverty and continue with the cycle. In most cases, poverty is defined by focusing on economic poverty, which is measured by the earning of an individual, community, region, and state. The parameter of economic poverty is based on the established income ratio and financial inequality, which then is used for drawing the poverty lines.
This parameter makes poverty a relative aspect. For instance, the threshold for measuring poverty in the US for a family of four is $26,000 (approx.) per year. But taking the same amount in a developing country to establish the poverty threshold is incorrect, where the exchange rate is different. NGOs need to understand that poverty is purely on economic inequality, and to measure it with a relative poverty threshold makes it difficult to define and view poverty. It must be recognized beyond earnings, poor living standards, and unemployment. While working on these issues is essential, as many NGOs do, few organizations, like the Tej Kohli foundation, uncover the root cause of poverty and start tackling it from a bottom-up structure.
10 Causes Leading To Poverty As Recognized By Tej Kohli Foundation
A proper definition of poverty needs to encompass every type of poverty, and the best way to define it is by recognizing the top ten causes that lead to poverty.
One word often linked with poverty is inequality, but the term can be misleading. Instead, the term marginalized showcases the systematic barrier that leaves a certain section of people without representation or voice within the nation, region, and community based on gender, caste, race, sexual, tribal, and religious affiliations. Marginalization leads to vulnerability and shunning that specific group of people from accessing the basic necessities.
- Lack of Education
It does not mean people without education or an educational degree will be poor or live a life of extreme poverty. However, education is often considered a great equalizer for poverty and a life that does not crumble. The main reason is that education opens job opportunities, developing other skills and other resources for a better life.
- Weather Change
One of the causes that lead to poverty in the present age is climate change. Whether it is drought, flood, or extreme weather variation, the disaster due to climate change is immense. Since most developing nations depend on hunting, farming, and agriculture to survive, any natural disasters leave them with nothing. It has been estimated that in the next decade, 100 million people will be pushed into poverty due to climate change.
- War & Conflict
Civil wars, the Syrian crisis, and other large or small conflicts have destroyed the existing infrastructure of a nation, region, and community. It not only pushes the region to deeper depths of poverty but also forces the people to flee, which hinders any further development of the nation. The people who flee as refugees are already at the mercy of the host country; on the other hand, the community that is left behind bears the brunt of the conflict, which adds a new layer of inequality.
- Forced Migration
In recent years, mass migration has been from one end of the world to another in search of better lives. Earlier forced migration was the result of world wars, but now even civil wars, genocides, and climate change is forcing people to flee their home country. Often when these people escape their home country or state, they leave behind everything, thus making it difficult to have a decent life in the host countries. Furthermore, the section of people forced to escape is often already in the under-developed category of the social structure, which makes it more difficult for them to escape poverty.
It is often thought poverty causes hunger, which is true, but hunger and poverty are like a vicious cycle – hunger maintains poverty. If a person cannot eat properly, they won’t have the energy to work, the immune system will be weak, and the children will suffer from malnutrition. All these will make them more susceptible to illness and failure to reach their full potential. The result is unable to move out of the poverty zone.
- Lack of Access To Clean Water and Sanitation
Contaminated water is a carrier of airborne diseases. The lack of hygiene and proper sanitation adds to the situation, which can often be life-threatening and eventually prevent people from getting out of poverty. One of the greatest barriers that lack of sanitation causes is preventing girls from getting an education and often forcing them out of school after they start their menstrual cycles.
- Taboos and Superstitions
In many developing and underserved nations, regions, communities, and families, taboos are attached to menstruation, gender biases, and widowhood. All these factors, along with superstations like cataract instead being a curable eye condition, is believed to cause suffering for some misdoings. All these aspects lead to poverty and the failure to come out of it.
- Lack of Funding
The difference between a developed and a developing nation is that social welfare is easily available to the people in the former. Often developing nations suffer from a lack of funding and government support that can assist people in accessing the basic necessities of life and not be vulnerable to poverty. The lack of funding in developing nations results in people not having that safety net, thus sliding further into poverty when they cannot work or get healthcare support.
- Unwanted Blindness
Catarct-induced blindness is curable in most cases when identified at an early stage. Also, the belief is that the condition only affects older people; hence when a child suffers from cataracts, they are left to be in that state due to the lack of proper healthcare facilities and funding, which only fails to have a better poverty-free life.
Many NGOs and philanthropists are working hard to tackle these causes of poverty. One person, the noble-hearted Tej Kohli, has been ensuring that poverty is fought from the grass-root levels and in a sustainable manner. One of the efforts in eradicating poverty is the establishment of the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation (TKRF). The NGO works in underserved regions of developing nations to cure needless blindness caused by cataracts to cure 500,000 people after screening 1,000.000 patients by 2030. Being a venture capitalist and entrepreneur enthusiast, Mr. Tej Kohli understands the long and far-reaching result that curing needless blindness will have in alleviating poverty.