Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, October 21st, 2018

The Curse of Destitution

Destitution is a major issue that is being faced by almost all the countries in the world. Though there have been efforts on national and international levels by different countries, no considerable achievement has been made and billions of people still suffer from it in different ways. The destitute do not only suffer from aching of starvation but also from the discriminating behavior of the society. The society treats the destitute just like orphans. People try to avoid their company and thus isolate them in the worst possible manner. They do not seem to have any dignity and respect even among his close relatives. They seem to go through a certain agony and in that agony there is hunger, disease, grief and lengthy days and nights. Hunger is the worst of them. It engulfs human senses and thinking. A hungry person does not seem to be thinking about anything else other than food to eat. All his thoughts, his attention and feelings are bound to be searching food. Luxurious aesthetic sense, praise for beauty and work of art, social responsibility and religious obligations all seem to be negligible as compared to the agony of the hunger he is suffering from.
And then a country suffering from destitution tends to have more social problems. Consider the example of Afghanistan – there are many social problems that have their roots in this evil. Corruption, theft, drug addiction and even terrorism, in some or other, are connected to it. There are thieves who steal in order to feed their families who are suffering from starvation. There are youngsters, who having found no job and having no sources of income join terrorists who promise them some money. There are many others of the youngsters who have become suicide bombers and can be bought for some hundreds of dollar. And then there are the ones who have given up struggling against the cruel poverty and opted for drugs – at least addiction minimizes their pain and make them more forgetful of their miserable lives.  
However, these facts are never pondered upon. Corruption, theft and drug addiction are now being related to ‘Criminal Genes’ and ‘Filthy Blood’. It is said that thieves, addicts and terrorists are so because of their nature. However the actual fact is being covered. The social circumstances and the irresponsible human attitude that are basically responsible for most of the poverty are not being discussed. Basil the Great beautifully quotes a reality, “When someone steals another's clothes, we call them a thief. Should we not give the same name to one who could clothe the naked and does not? The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry; the coat unused in your closet belongs to the one who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the one who has no shoes; the money which you hoard up belongs to the poor.” 
It can be easily observed that there are many people in our society who work from dawn till dusk, with all the energies they have and still they suffer from destitution and their families do not have rudimentary requirements of life and then there are few others who are born in rich families, do nothing and still have all the luxuries of life. This is not even fortune or luck, it is the socio-economic setup that has made such a tragic reality possible. It is supporting the rich to become richer and pushing the poor deeper in the abyss of destitution.
We, human beings, require to change our consideration. Why are we not able to see the suffering of the millions whom we experience every day, but we are able to focus our attentions towards the things that are less important and more destructive? We are ready to exert our energy for weapons, wars and ways of annihilating others but never concentrate on how we can help the destitute who are living from hand to mouth in our immediate neighborhood. This is, in fact, the biggest injustice that we are doing to our own specie. Dwight D. Eisenhower had said that every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists and the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.
Our country Afghanistan also requires to fight the menace of destitution seriously as more than 20 million people live below the poverty line. All the other fights relating to insecurity, terrorism, corruption and crimes must be dealt as secondary and all the efforts must be diverted for slaying the giant of destitution; otherwise, all the efforts would end up in smoke.