Different Strokes|May 5, 2007 9:18 AM| by:

Righting the Wrongs

A well known Indian composer recently released a song as a contribution towards eradicating poverty by 2015. A reality show in America got the country charged and raised millions to help equally for Americans and Africans suffering a lack of medicine, educational facilities, poverty, hunger. Long term projects by some of the world’s top musicians have been relentlessly working towards a betterment for Africa. Are all these plans ambitious? May be. But it’s still effort and all effort pays off in the end if conducted sincerely. The point is, why are we still poor? Why are there people in this country and in this world who die of starvation – how is it possible in this day and age and time and moment….how?

We are aghast on seeing news reports of millions of tons of grain getting eaten by rats in godowns across the world because of strikes by traders and farmers or uncountable tons of vegetables and fruits rotting while governments try and negotiate prices. We question politicians who spend thousands on their birthday while thousands in their own territory die of disease and hunger. We point fingers at those who waste food at times like these when dogs and children fight for scraps. If all this was corrected, maybe fewer would succumb to the pangs. But then again, is that really all there is to poverty? Is food the only cause and only remedy by which we can return the dignity to every man’s face?

No. It’s only the most obvious, immediate and short term remedy in hand. Undoubtedly it is important but it will certainly not eradicate poverty or kill the pain of famished bodies. Because at the end of the day, the money will run out and the pain will return. There is only one long term solution and that is to give Education – feed the starving millions with equal portions of food and knowledge so that tomorrow they can stand on stronger feet and provide for themselves as well as those who are still on shaky ground. Very apt is the Chinese proverb: “Give a man a fish, and you have given him a meal. Teach him to fish, and you will have given him a lifetime of dinners.”

Most importantly, by education one doesn’t mean schoolbook guidance alone, although that too is essential; it also means the imparting of true learning—the knowledge of the Self, the Spirit, the Supreme.
Education. Knowledge. Learning.

This is the only way to erase this shameful blot from the history of the 21st century. The problem is that while many of us will agree in principle to the soundness of this proposal, hardly one or two may actually take up the idea and perpetuate it in reality. Giving alms is convenient; giving education requires effort; imparting knowledge requires dedication. Are any of us up to the task? There are no judgements to be passed if one isn’t – but it does make one think, doesn’t it?

  • http://Website Amal Sircar

    From Time immemorial, there have been persons who wanted to alleviate the sufferings of mankind due to poverty, hunger, ignorance etc. But even the Avatars met with little success because the majority of mankind wants to suffer due to Ignorance. A pig wallowing in the mud, feels that is heavenly bliss. Similarly, we like to suffer due to Ignorance of Self and not willing to collaborate with the Divine for a quantum leap to Knowledge of Self and work in the world as a Divine servitor. Supramental force is in action. There is a tremendous change taking place. “A few shall see what none yet understands; God shall grow up while the wise man talk and sleep; For man shall not know the coming till its hour, And belief shall be not till the work is done”.

    We have no reason to despair. It will perhaps take many millennia, but victory is certain.

  • http://Website Hema Rajan

    This was quite interesting and instructive.