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COVID -19 and “New Poor”

Covid 19 Poor

The title of the article may rise the expectation that, there will follow a lot of number -crunching and statistics on how many people have become newly poor or have come below poverty line during this pandemic of COVID -19 in comparison to the pre-pandemic scenario. But my intention is just to share some personal experiences of how so many people other than professional beggars and help seekers come every day to our doorsteps.

I have heard many people saying – that writing or this writing is not complex enough in language and composition to capture this aspect or that aspect of a particular subject matter. For some strange reasons, they love complexities in everything. I also love complexities. It makes us feel ourselves wiser and graver. But, that love for complexities I cannot apply in writing a blog post (Might sound like I am a specialist in blogging whereas I am only an infant in reality). That practice should be kept limited to writing research article to be published in high impact -factor journal. For my case, I know, this article is not going to be published anywhere other than this young platform.

Besides, there is a “WordPress” tool called “Readability” analysis which prefers simplicity. I prefer too. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. The reality is already complex enough. I do not intend to add on that. After this pardonable digression, we can come back to the subject in hand. The “new poor” engendered by COVID -19 pandemic.

These people are not professional beggars and they have not asked for help for food or money in public within their lifetime. I can understand it listening to their amateurish voice and usage of language while asking for help. There are rickshaw pullers with their rickshaws. When I ask them why they have come with their rickshaw to ask for help. They answer that they drive rickshaw in day time but they cannot earn much to buy daily essentials. That’s why they have come after evening to get some help in other ways.

Obviously they have family to feed. They are waiting for them. Often they come in group to seek help. I have also seen rickshaw puller with his full family of wife and children asking for help. They thought it might make them more credible. There are a lot of people who actually do not need help but pretend to. We all know about that. It’s really hard to differentiate between these two types. There are also children, women, disabled persons, old persons to get some help from the people who they think can help them.

 I realize it must have been very hard for them to come out of their sense of self -respect asking for help. May be, in their life time they did not ask for help even for once. They have worked hard to earn whatever they can to live with respect and gratitude. But this pandemic has compelled them to sacrifice their self-respect for the sake of living and life. They have prioritized their family above all other things.

The government has taken a lot of initiatives to help these people. But they do not get that support due to corruption at each and every level. We hear the news of rice theft, dumping of rice in the ponds, oil hidden under bed etc. This reminds some people never change. Corrupted and immoral people do not care about anything except their own profit even during this unprecedented time of crisis.

We also hear good news. Beggars donating their money, people donating money saved for pilgrimage, students donating money saved from tuition etc. These show humanity still exists in some people. But there are people who always denounce human attributes for profits and greed.

COVID -19 has shown it is high time we change ourselves. The time has come when we should think (if we survive; we survive thereafter we think) in a different way so that we can survive and sustain collectively as human race.

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