Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

Where are the Opportunities for the Poor?
P & R Vol.1 Issue 1
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Where are the Opportunities for the Poor? (P & R Vol.1 Issue 1)

Publication Year : 2020

The Prime Minister has announced a poverty alleviation program called EHSAS — an admirable step. But more than government aid, the poor need opportunities to become financially independent. Handouts, credit and online opportunities are not a substitute for opportunity. An old proverb says ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’. Think about it. Many of our financially disadvantaged citizens have climbed into the middle class thanks to the ‘opportunity’ of immigration which they grasped eagerly, sometimes at huge cost to themselves. Contrary to what Pakistani analysts put out, poverty is always caused by exclusion from opportunity. Give the poor a chance and they will lift themselves out of poverty. A starting point could be an attempt to examine the apartheid-like social regime we have created. Could the extreme degree of exclusion of the poor (basically the nonelite) be at the heart of our troubles? Ask yourself the following questions and see if the answers make sense and you will see for yourself how the poor are excluded: