The word ‘Poverty’ tends to conjure up a
variety of images,a variety of ideas and opinions in all of us, some based on
stereotypes, some based on media and television and some based on our own life
experiences and with different kinds of negative perspectives. The effects of
poverty are more than just missing a meal. Families struggle with chronic food
insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition. When families don’t have the food, their
health and livelihood suffers,the long course of poverty takes a toll on
them,in a vicious cycle that affects one generation after another.Poverty
effects all of the population in one or the other way and we all are caught in
it like the prisoners in the jails.The condition becomes worthy and ill, the
life in dissatisfaction shows dominance. Poverty is not having enough material
possessions or income for a person’s needs. Poverty may include social,
economic, and political elements as well.
United Nations as neatly defined Poverty
as,the inability of having choices and opportunities, a violation of human
dignity. It means lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society.
It means not having enough to feed and clothe a family, not having a school or
clinic to go to, not having the land on which to grow one’s food or a job to
earn one’s living, not having access to credit. It means insecurity,
powerlessness and exclusion of individuals, households and communities. It
means susceptibility to violence, and it often implies living in marginal or
fragile environments, without access to clean water or sanitation.
The poverty, most of all affects the
children, affects the students through different modes of their education and
mental course of health.
>Impacts on Education.
Its main impact is seen on the students, upon
the education. The student from a poorer background gets highly affected, both
with disappointment and irresponsible treatment everywhere. Humiliation,
exploitation, indignity, inequality, a feary environment they get at every
place whether college or secondary school level .The financially worse
situation takes a toll on a good student.
One of the biggest lessons we are taught as
children is that we need to stay in school. Having an education is the first
step to finding a job, earning money and to make life successful and happy.
Without an education, many are left jobless and stuck living in poverty for the
rest of their lives, that degrades our level and a good student gets off the
mark. It is a fact that statistics show that for children who live below the
poverty line, the chances of having school success is much lower than their
other peers .Coming on poverty, Children living in poverty often get exposed to
more stress, more intense & longer lasting stress that negatively impact
attention, lowers fitness and focus, cognition, intelligence quotient(IQ) and
social skills. Children living in poverty also tend to hear less reciprocal
conversations, are engaged in conversation with less complex vocabulary and
less sentence structure, and are read to less frequently than their peers not
living in poverty.
This can lead to severe mental conditions
that impact a student’s motivation and desire to do well in school.
A study by the ”Crittenton Women’s Union”
says that, ‘When a person lives in poverty, the limbic system is constantly
sending fear and stress messages to the prefrontal cortex, which overloads its
ability to solve problems, to solve mathematical science, set goals, to deal
with extreme situations and complete tasks in the most efficient ways’. These
students will continue to be behind. The low-income children are many a times
more likely to drop out when they reach high school. In fact all possible
consequences of poverty have an impact on children. Poor infrastructures,
unemployment, lack of basic services and income reflect on their lack of
education, malnutrition, violence at home and outside, child labour, diseases
of all kinds, transmitted by the family or through the environment. Indeed, poverty
had long lasting and much regressive impacts on education.
The impact of poverty on a child’s academic
achievement is significant and starts early,” says Jonah Edelman, PhD,
co-founder and chief executive officer of Stand for Children, a non-profit
education advocacy organization. “Young children growing up in poverty face
challenges with cognitive and literary ability and [often] begin school both
academically and socioeconomically behind their peers from higher-income
These students do not possess even good
foundation of education ability and college, for the most part, isn’t on their
agenda. For those who do manage to go to college, they are on an average,
ill-prepared for the journey. Their poor academic preparation handicaps them
the entire way, as do poor time management and study skills
One cannot dismiss the financial pressures
facing these students as well, Even for those who receive full Pell Grants and
some institutional aid, that rarely provides enough to cover their needs, and
their families typically do not have the wherewithal to help.
>Impacts on mental health.
Not only education, every sphere of life gets
affected by the poverty discourse. Poverty is the main cause and consequence of
poor ill health. It is obvious, poverty is linked with negative conditions such
as substandard housing, homelessness, inadequate nutrition facilities and food
insecurity, inadequate child care or lack of access to health care and under
resourced schools which adversely shows its impact on our children. Poverty in
adulthood is linked to depressive and serious disorders, anxiety disorders,
psychological distress, and suicide. Poverty affects mental health through an
array of social and biological mechanisms acting at multiple levels, including
individuals, families and friends. Growing up growing up in poverty often
exposes children to greater levels of stress, which can lead to psychological
problems later in life, Researchers at Cornell University reported that ”kids
who grow up poor are more likely to have reduced short-term spatial memory.”
Reforms to check it.
There is nothing inevitable about poverty. We
just need to build the political will to enact the policies that will increase
economic security, expand opportunities, and grow the middle class.
First, Government authorities must focus on
it chiefly. There should be adequate Government policies to check it out, to
formulate programs to support the low income families. Create more and more
jobs for generally economical weaker sections. Raise the minimum wages for
labour class and economically worse families. Credit for childless workers. Provide
paid leave and paid sick days for them. To help them in high quality child care
and in their early education. Expand Medical aid for them.
Government should extend loans and other
scholarship schemes for poor students and raise and register them with
School fees or college fees for poverty hit
people should be low, so that they can continue with their studies and
contribute towards Nation.
We should form NGO’s to gather them and
convince them for every possible help to take and make them.
We should plan for their best career success,
in order to accelerate their
Graph of economy.
Government and public libraries and mental
counselling sessions and such a synonymous projects should be launched for them
to raise their moral boost.
At last I would request everyone to check, to
find out in their Mohalla’s, Town’s, in their regions if any such student
exists, please help them, please ensure them with complete facilities
nutritionally, economically and educationally,
(The writer is a student of SSM college of Engineering
and Technology and can be mailed at: [email protected])