Gilgit - Baltistan


Poverty: What is poverty? Is it the condition that led the child towards death? Is it the photographer’s indifference to the condition of the child?

Let’s Discuss poverty, its forms, its impact and how can we help decrease it.


Pictory is the newest segment of Pamir News Blog. A pictory is the short form for “A story in a Picture”. In this segment we will pick an issue related to our society and discuss it objectively to enhance our comprehension of the world.  [Noor_.]

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  1. Poverty,A very diificult situation to sustain your life activities.The world is moving towards a mysterious situation where the natural resources are depleting and the population and the requiremens of the population is at its apex.Interestingly some of the countires which have strong scientific and technological expertise are up to a greater extent on the safer side but the countires which are under developed are more prone to the effects of the depletion of natural resources and it is predicted that if the same situation persists would endanger the human kind as an extinct species.This has been a crucial situation for the scientists of the world to cope.
    The graph of poverity is showing great elevation and the bad times would be touching the human kind if no immediate measures are taken.
    It is evident before every individual that thousands of people die every day in the world beacause of starvation and malnutrition.
    To keep ourselves away from the real stream of poverty,we ought to work hard and to focus on the areas which could enhance our economic conditions.
    Aslam Ghalib

  2. Very good Noori for choosing the truly burning issue hampering like the thunderstorms and roaring wildanimals over the decendants of Adam or hominid/hominoid (also including other creatures) on our tiny planet.I may also suggest to add reasons of poverty because without knowing the reasons, we may not be able to come to a reasonable conclusions. Thus, the questions could be (as you have cited, too):

    1) What is poverty?
    2) What are the reasons for poverty?
    3) What are types or forms of povert?
    4) What results (outputs, outcomes & impacts) come out of poverty?
    5) How can we help decrease poverty?

    Let’s have a venture to sweem in this roaring ocean and see what results we can find out of it.

  3. A far as i can understand Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not able to study. Poverty is weakness.
    Poverty has many faces, changing from place to place and across time.
    Poverty is not only about having income below the “poverty line”, but it is also about the inability to sustain a specified level of well-being

    Poverty is neither linear nor static, poor people fluctuate below and above the poverty line, and today’s not-so-poor may well be tomorrow’s poorest, and vice-versa

    Poverty has many dimensions and it has to been looked at through a variety of indicators –levels of income and consumption, social indicators, indicators of vulnerability to risks and of social/political access
    And there is a response to poverty alleviation too. it can be alleviated by inserting the following indicators.

    To know what helps to alleviate poverty, what works and what does not, what changes over time, poverty has to be defined, measured, studied and understood

    No single intervention can defeat poverty. Poverty is multi-faceted and many factors need to be taken into account when developing a poverty reduction strategy

    Poverty reduction strategies should seek ways to reduce poor people’s vulnerability to risks/shocks

    Removal or reduction of poverty must be a continuous process of creation of assets, building human capital, strengthening poor people’s ability to cope with risks/shocks

  4. poverity, in my view point, is scarcity of the basic human needs that includes food, health, shelter,security etc.
    I think the child died because of the ‘not concerning’ attitude of the photographer.There definetly was the problem (famine) and there surely was carelessness (indefrence attitude of photographer). Being proactive makes a person responsible, and being responsible is a state of worship (ibadat). Thats what even all religions (esp. Islam), norms and systems teach us.
    therefore, if the photographer would have shown proactivity by taking the first step of helping the child to the UN camp, he could have save the boy or at laest provided him shelter and security. his suicide also shows that he regrated for his irresponsibilty,

  5. A cold shiver runs down my spine whernever I see this picture.

    We talk alot about the photographer not trying to save the child but just instead put yourself in his shoes and think what you would have done? There is no minor reason behind the photographer giving up his life.

    Poverty according to me is utter destitution. Which is brought to notice only when it reaches extremes.


  6. Poverty is the bigget threat to humanity besides ignorance, injustice and imperialism in the disguise of democracies.

    I do not see an improvement in the life of poors living in Africa and Asia in the near or distant future. I am totally hopless of United Nations, governments and non-govermnent organisations.

    What will happen to our own country, Pakistan if our diminishing water resources vanish if we do not take measures today to conserve it for the future.

  7. poverty iz shame on our part bcz we r not ready to help. poverty in my opinion means having everything but still ignorant. To my eyes, rich souls are poor who dont have hearts of flesh.

    This child is rich who makes his own way to the food, rather, we are poor having everything but nothing to afford him.

    In the name of the innocence of every child,
    STOP this war, gruesome and wild.

    It’s a shame,

    And who is to blame?

    He hardly saw the light,

    And by a heartless shot,

    They squeezed his vulnerable heart,

    They stole his smile so bright.

    It’s a shame,

    And who is to blame?

    His soul is taken away

    In an echo of an outcry

    But, angels paved his stairway

    And he’s in Paradise anyway.

    It’s a shame,

    And who is to blame?

    Their silence is lame!

    May God forgive all of them.

    with so many thankks and LOVE to
    (Taycir) for his loving poem


  8. thoses nations in the world how have secrifises and worked for the betterment of education they may not face these situation,s in thier countries in my openion its becouse of ELITTRECY AND LACK OF EDUCATION becouse education is the main source to develop thier socio-economic condition to give education to thier children,health,and other facilities of life if you may not provide these facilities to your children that means the country is facing some problem internally its totally depended on the education littrecy and stablity of economic condition of the country….

    Didar Karim Bari
    NUML university islamabd

  9. Our civilized world is passing through several challenges including so called “TERRORISM”. Others are (but personally I think much bigger) Climate Change and food crisis which leads to Poverty. Later sighted challenges are interlinked and to some extent first one is also traces some of its roots. This is a long discussion how these are interlinked on earth ecosystem what we now calling it “a global village” Adverse effect of these are on regional and local basis more specifically on a population, on a family and then to on an individual can be seen around the earth. There is no shortcut to overcome but proper and long term planning can minimizes the effects of these horrors. All we are known that major contributors to these are industrialized countries in the world. If some where a region is stricken by drought or famine, these countries are sending food and other item to them for survival. Although they help them out of the current crisis but they never help them how to survive for generations on their own foot. Until and unless, UN and other funding countries seriously think over the poverty and terrorism causing factors, no any kind of material help or fight can eradicate these evils from the society. The transfer of modern technology to these people instead of giving them money can be a sustainable effort in eradicating poverty and food crisis.

  10. Oh God, I can’t stop my tears when i see the picture, The picture shows the state of extreme poverty, in which people have no excess to the basic needs for servival like food, clothing and shelter ect.
    It’s alaraming sitution which nocks on the doors of those people are rich, to the develop countries and to all makind who are in possition to help to eleminate extreme poverty. We all must think for a movement how we can contribute to eleminate extreme poverty.

    Ali Asghar

  11. Thanks Editor, for posting the theme of poverty for discussion. I am not development expert nor I have knowledge of modern development and poverty elevation techniques, but I am much inspired with Shakespeare view of this world that a man once asked Shakespeare,

    “I marvel how fishes live in the water”? Shakespeare replied “As we live on land, big fishes eating the small ones”

    This picture is one of the awful, heart wrenching scenes, witnessed by the civilized world in modern age.

    Do we call that boy poor, because he is hunger, he do not have shelter, he is unable to see a doctor, his father is job less, or the necessity of modern living is not available to him?

    How poverty can be defined in modern age? Hunger, lack of shelter, clean water, modern medical facility are the common methods for measuring poverty, definition and level of poverty changes form place to place and from society to society, a poor person leaving in USA is poor because of the lack of facilities his fellow citizens availing, and he may be wealthier then the middle class person leaving in Afghanistan and Somalia.

    The question is how we define poverty and provides common ground for combat and eradication of poverty. Does serving one dollar a day to every person or providing certain calories of food to the poor will eradicate poverty from the world? Absolutely NO.

    Poverty is more socio- political term then economical, I believe as defined by the World Bank that poverty is
    Lack of Information, opportunity and empowerment,

    Lack of information leads to ignorance and poverty, Modern development and is out an outcome of complex social political and economical phenomenon knitted through historical development of human knowledge; the more successful and elevated is one who has well and more knowledge of this complex phenomenon. A child in modern age is spending an average of sixteen year just learning that complex process, as each one of us is doing. The more informed we will, the more one will be able to survive in this world. Knowledge is not limited to formal education but it is the knowledge of its surroundings, economic prospects, his right and duties, skills, advancements in technology and other aspects
    Opportunity is created through stimulating knowledge and information by mobilizing, Human and capital resources building institutions and infrastructures, which works as catalyst for economic development of the people.

    Information and opportunity depends upon empowerment, liberty of actions and functioning, empowerment is needed both at individual and state level, today its well known fact that corruption, poverty, inequality, injustices, violence, terrorism are all consequences of invasive control of one over other, Its states control over state, individuals control over individuals and communities.

    If we take example of the boy in the picture, and try to encompass the scenario of his miserable condition. He was victim of Africa’s political, economical and social predators, who after colonialism took state and state machinery to acquire power, wealth personal gains the whole society was plunge into civil war and conflict

    The society was never ever able to demonstrate their free will, and develop based on their own consensus. Fiefdoms, warlords, and tribal chieftain played havoc with their lives and are still playing.

    If we take this aspect of poverty definition, in context of our area, one can easily say how poor we are? And what will be the fate of next generation, if we were not empowered , liberated, and got identity

  12. Poverty, as is defined by many people, is inaccessibility of basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, basic health facility, education, security etc.

    There are mainly two types of poverty, namely: absolute poverty; and relative poverty.
    Absolute poverty is a complete deprivation of the basic needs. This kind of poverty prevails in the lowest class of society, like in developing and underdeveloped nations, where they don’t have food to eat, shelter to live, access to education and so on.

    While relative poverty is inaccessibility in comparison to others. Almost all of us are suffering from this kind of poverty. For example in Pakistan we are in poverty in terms of security, because compared to other nations the lives of most of Pakistanis are at risk.

    Poverty line is the measure of poverty, internationally this poverty line is defined as, persons who are earning one or two dollars (may be 69/138 rupees) a day. There are different standards set locally as well, by different nations, for example in Pakistan the definition of extreme poverty or below poverty line is, the non-availability of minimum calories (i.e 2,350 calories) of food per day (Social Policy and Development Centre, SPDC, 2006).

    According to, Centre for Research, Poverty Reduction and Income Distribution (CRPRID), 38% of people in Pakistan are living below poverty line (and is increasing) which is greater than 34% of Indian poverty.

    What can be the outcomes of poverty? Some of the outcomes can be vulnerablity to illness, violence, economic shock, bad weather, natural disaster etc. some other outcomes can be categorising some groups of the society such as wemen, ethnic groups, racial groups or socially disadvantaged, which also prevails in our Pakistani society. Another outcome is geneder baisness where lack of resources does not allow the girl child to attend school, to enjoy better health, to eat food equalent to their counterpart. All these outcomes are visible in our larger society.

    I conclude with His Highness Aga Khan’s new initiative as he wishes to work for the poor and has pointed out that they are awaiting for help and as he comments “we cannot leave them in this situation”. I think it is all the above mentioned endangers which our particular society/community might face in the future and therefore our Imam wishes to take steps before it strikes our society.

    Reshma NDIE

  13. Moving Forward

    Dear Commentators

    I mus congratulate you for objectively sharing your understandings pertaining to poverty. Frankly speaking I didn’t expect this level of participation. It is a reflection on and testimony to our commitment with learning. Both, students and professionals, have shared their views.

    I will summarize some of the definitions of poverty that we have come up with after the discussion related to “definition of poverty”:

    1. Difficult situation to sustain life activities
    2. The scarcity of resources
    3. Hunger, absence of shelter, clean drinking water, access to education and absence of health facilities
    4. Utter destitution
    5. Ignorance [Lack of awareness, literacy]
    6. Lack of Information, opportunity and empowerment,

    Some people also shared their knowledge about the types of poverty, the forms of poverty, the methods employed by various organizations to measure the ‘level of poverty’ in absolute and real terms. Taking the discussion ahead let me now pose another question.

    The next question is:

    How poor is Hunza [ Kilik – to – Mayoon]? Or what is the poverty level in Hunza Valley?

    I would like all of you to kindly analyze the poverty situation in Hunza – a region that claims to be ‘well of’, ‘prosperous’ etc.

  14. The second quesiton raised by Noori is difficult, indeed. This question needs preciise and objective answers, as the previous question was subjective in nature.

    Keeping view the aforementioned definitions by various commentators/participants (summariesed by Noor),I may put this question in this mamner:

    How would you categorize and assess the poeples of your respective villages (not entire Hunza) around the above models of definitions? What may be causes?

    If you are serious and determined to dive in the ocean of this question, please take your time , list down households of your own villgages with sub-categories of landholdings, agricltural activities, livestocks, education, employment and business plus human resources. and the like and then come to conclusion by shariing your views. Thus, we can say that you have objective views that will depict the true codition of your villages, and these data/info of different villages shall then contribute to result the poverty level of the entire Hunza.

  15. I believe that people have no clue what poverty is unless they have experienced it themselves. They need to be informed that people all over the world are suffering because thay don’t have food. We Americans have a grocery store or fast food place right around the block. One child dies every 3 seconds because of poverty. No child or person deserves to go without food or shelter or water. People of the world shoud get together and do something to stop this grotesque sickness that we call poverty. If you don’t get three meals a day, be grateful you don’t have to pray to God you get one by the end of the week.

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