To­gether Against Poverty

Southasia - - Editor's mail - Za­heer Ki­ran, Pe­shawer, Pak­istan Seema Mathur, Ban­ga­lore, In­dia

Read­ing your cover story last month, I had this one ques­tion in mind: Are we re­ally united in our fight against poverty? I be­lieve coun­tries that are com­mit­ted to achiev­ing their de- vel­op­men­tal goals should make best use of their re­sources, and work to­wards these goals through proper im­ple­men­ta­tion of their poli­cies. Ed­u­ca­tion is a long term so­lu­tion to ad­dress the mas­sive poverty in South Asia. South Asians are a di­verse group of peo­ple and have all the po­ten­tial to help el­e­vate their re­spec­tive coun­tries out of ab­ject poverty. It is only through ed­u­ca­tion that they can be em­pow­ered. Only an ed­u­cated pop­u­la­tion can un­der­stand the me­chan­ics of a so­ci­ety, its func­tion­ing and thus act as a cat­a­lyst for change. Our lead­ers and the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity need to ad­dress and tackle the chal­lenge of fill­ing in the huge void of il­lit­er­acy in the re­gion.

(2) De­vel­op­ment is a chal­lenge, an area where South Asia has badly failed. There is no deny­ing that this re­gion, home to more than one-fifth of the world pop­u­la­tion, is caught in, what your writers rightly de­scribed as, cir­cu­lar poverty. It finds no means to snap out of it. In­com­pe­tent lead­er­ship and weak eco­nomic poli­cies have hin­dered the re­gion to reap ben­e­fits from its huge man­power, nat­u­ral re­sources, di­verse ecosys­tem and vi­brant so­ci­eties. And where the re­spec­tive South Asian gov­ern­ments have failed, the in­ter­na­tional donor agen­cies have also not been able to de­vise poli­cies that could ad­dress the plight of the pover­tys­tricken pop­u­la­tion. There is an ur­gent need to plan and im­ple­ment pro­grams that strengthen the peo­ple of South Asia. The donor agen­cies need to fa­cil­i­tate South Asians by cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for them to grow, sus­tain and build a com­pet­i­tive so­ci­ety in­stead of sim­ply hand­ing the de­vel­op­men­tal funds to the cor­rupt gov­ern­ments.

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