Who is poor? A search in google will lead you to some black and white pictures of young and old, wearing torn cloths with a smile or tear. Why? Why black and white? Did the colours forgot to breeze into their life? Don’t they deserve some rangoli shades in their dreams?
“Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn’t commit.”
– Eli Khamarov, writer
What would be your answer if I ask you what is the most important thing for you in your life? Health? Wealth? Your friends and family? Education? Career? Well, it might be anything in this world but…
Believe me or not, the most important thing in life for more than 3 billion people in this world is to get one time meal per day to fill their stomach. Hard to believe but this is the fact. In this same planet, 22,000 kids are dying every day due to hunger while some of us are saving money to buy 27 dollar Kat Von D lip gloss.
This is what called poverty. When I say poverty, I don’t just mean that people don’t get enough food to live but also they don’t have a shelter to protect theirselves from the burning sun or freezing snow. Poverty is the number one goal in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). The first goal could have been hunger, education, health or even economic growth but poverty was chosen as the first goal because I personally consider that it is the root cause for all the other factors that I’ve mentioned earlier.
“Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.”
– Aristotle, Greek philosopher
To make our world a better place, first we need to help our fellow human beings because it’s every human being’s rights to live their lives. As the poverty decrease, the world will develop by itself because there won’t be another child’s death because of malnutrition, there won’t be another child sleeping in the box at streets, and most importantly there won’t be another child grow up without knowing that he or she is living in a planet called earth.
To achieve the goal to vanish poverty in all its forms everywhere, humanitarians, NGO’s, governments alone can’t make it. This is why… CSR MATTERS.
CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility
In this fast-paced 21st century, I would say that the world is being ruled by business or more accurately by corporate companies. It is because everything is a business. From the life saving medical to life killing smoke. Every individual is a consumer. So, I think the corporates should take some responsibilities in the improvement of human kind by making effort to reduce poverty.
Firstly, corporate companies can collaborate with International Non-Government Organizations like ONE and CARE to help the poor. More than half of the consumers say that they are willing to pay more for products and services from the companies which has social responsibilities. Corporate companies can be a medium between ordinary people and the NGOs. For example, a company whose main selling is cereals can make a promo that says that 5% of the cost of a packet of cereal will be given to the people in hunger. By doing so, more people will buy the product to help the poor and more money can be gathered. The company manages to engage the ordinary consumers in the helping process and also gets to help the needy people. Killing two birds in one stone. A real life example of this idea would be Petsmart, an American retail chain engaged in the sale of specialty animal products and services. PetSmart changed their checkout process a few years ago. Customers were shown a screen that asked if they wanted to donate to “help save homeless animals” after swiping their cards. Through this single strategy, PetSmart Charities raised $40 million in a year. Wow… right ?
Other than that, corporate companies should engage their workers in the effort to reduce poverty. It is well known that the millennial are very socially engaged generation. So, corporate companies can design the programme to reduce poverty while the workers can execute it. For example, companies can have medical camps for poor people and get their workers to do the volunteer works along with the doctors. Companies can also have programme such as ‘educate a child’ where employees go to places on weekend together and educate children with basic knowledge. Knowledge is very important for the children as the future of next generation depends on it. This could also be a perfect bonding time among the employees. Self-satisfaction that they get by doing good deeds could reduce stress and depression which is common among the corporate employees.
These are some ways corporate companies can contribute to reduce global poverty. However, each and every individual are responsible to global poverty and must be willing to make the change in the world. If you change nothing, nothing will change.
When God created this world, he just hoped that humans will live happily by loving each other with all the other creations but is it what is happening today? Some of us might live happily but definitely we are not loving each other instead we are loving materialistic things. Another fact to push us into grieve: Oxfam estimates that it would take around $60 billion annually to end extreme global poverty which is less than 1/4 the income of the top 100 richest billionaires. It’s funny how that 3 billion people that I have mentioned earlier have nothing in their life but still manage to blossom a smile in their lips and move on with their life while the other side of the world is still complaining about not getting that expected salary increment; having enough to live and give but still wants more. These bitter truths sometimes urge me to think: who is the real poor here?
TOGETHER LET’S MAKE POVERTY A HISTORY. LET’S PROVE THAT THE ONLY PLACE THAT POVERTY DESERVES IS OUR MUSEUM. #CSR_MATTERS