POST TIME: 7 December, 2019 12:17:52 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 7 December, 2019 12:52:49 PM
Poverty and inequality
Compared with well-off children, poor children are disproportionately exposed to adverse social and physical environments
Sultan Mohammed Giasuddin

Poverty and inequality

In present global perspective, poverty and inequality are now somewhere high sound and somewhere silent virtual and visual dilemma squeezed in inter-twin complex, which are inseparable and reinforcing facts of present global human portrait, states and societies as affects each and another and reinforces vice-versa varies country to country, state to state and society to society. The trends and streams of poverty and inequality is like a pawn on cheese board no way except go forward through vertical and horizontal pushing and pulling with dynamic forces encompassed by the global socio-economic, political, geographical, environmental and climate change crucial and burning condition and position. Eventually, the poverty and inequality are severely penetrating the poor and under-privileged people and communities consequence of socially neglected, politically under estimated, culturally ill treated, geographically isolated and vulnerable in climate change and affects.
Universally, poverty is defined poverty as a chronic and debilitating condition that results from multiple adverse synergistic risk factors and affects the mind, body, and soul. However, it is fact that poverty is complex catastrophic condition and position; it does not mean the same thing for all people of all states or countries. Universal perspective, we can identify six types of poverty: Situational, Generational, Absolute, Relative, Urban and Rural. i. Situational poverty is generally caused by a sudden crisis or loss and is often temporary. Events causing situational poverty include environmental disasters, divorce, or severe health problems. ii. Generational poverty occurs in families where at least two generations have been born into poverty. Families living in this type of poverty are not equipped with the tools to move out of their condition and situations. iii. Absolute poverty, which is prevailing specially coastal and remotest areas of Bangladesh, India and countries of North and South Africa, involves a scarcity of such necessities as shelter, running water and food. Families who live in absolute poverty tend to focus on day-to-day survival. iv. Relative poverty refers to the economic status of a family whose income is insufficient to meet its society's average standard of living. v. Urban poverty occurs in metropolitan areas with migrated and floating populations. The urban poor deal with a complex aggregate of chronic and acute poverty including living in slums, crowding, violence, and noise those are highly deprived of survival means and are dependent on often-inadequate large-city services. vi. Rural poverty occurs in nonmetropolitan or out of urban areas. In rural areas, there are more single-guardian households families often have less access to land and financial properties and other services, support for disabilities, and quality education opportunities. Programs to encourage transition from welfare to work are problematic in remote rural, coastal and remote hilly areas, where job opportunities are few and slim access. The rural poverty rate is growing and has exceeded the urban rate every year since data collection began in the 1960s.

Poverty involves a complex array of risk factors that adversely affect the population in a multitude of ways. The four primary risk factors afflicting families living in poverty are i) Emotional and social challenges. ii) Acute and chronic stress. iii) Lags of cognitive knowledge, skill and occupational change and development. iv) Health and safety issues. Different national and international researches and studies revealed that poor families are experienced with more risk factors such as domestic violence, divorce, sickness, deprivation of basic education, eviction and migration. The aggregate of risk factors makes everyday living a struggle; they are multifaceted and interwoven, building on and playing off one another with a devastatingly synergistic effect. In other words, one problem created by poverty begets another, which in turn contributes to another, leading to a seemingly endless cascade of deleterious consequences. A head injury, for example, is a potentially disastrous event for a child living in poverty. With limited access to adequate medical care, the child may experience cognitive or emotional damage, mental illness, or depression, possibly attended with denial or shame that further prevents the child from getting necessary help; impairments in vision or hearing that go untested, undiagnosed, and untreated; or undiagnosed behavior disorders, such as personality disorder. It's authentically proved that poverty and its attendant risk factors are damaging to the physical, socio-emotional, and cognitive well-being of children and their families.

 Compared with well-off children, poor children are disproportionately exposed to adverse social and physical environments. Low-income neighborhoods are likely to have lower-quality social, local government services. Because of greater traffic volume, higher crime rates, and less playground safety—to name but a few factors—poor neighborhoods are more hazardous and less likely to contain green space than well-off neighborhoods are. Poor children often breathe contaminated air and drink impure water. Their rural households and urban slums households are more crowded, noisy, and physically deteriorated, and they contain a greater number of hazards. Although childhood is generally considered to be a time of joyful, carefree exploration, children living in poverty tend to spend less time finding out about the world around them and more time struggling to survive within it. Poor children have fewer and less-supportive networks than their more affluent counterparts do; live in neighborhoods that are lower in social capital; and, as adolescents, are more likely to rely on peers than on adults for social and emotional support. Children with deprivation also have fewer cognitive-enrichment opportunities. They have fewer books at home, visit the library less often, and spend considerably more time watching TV and move around aimless vagabond than their middle-income counterparts do. Often, poor children live in chaotic, unstable households. They are more likely to come from single-guardian homes, and their parents or caregivers tend to be less emotionally responsive. Young children are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of change, disruption, and uncertainty. Developing children need reliable caregivers who offer high predictability, or their brains will typically develop adverse adaptive responses. Chronic socioeconomic deprivation can create environments that undermine the development of self and the capacity for self-determination and self-efficacy. Compared with their more affluent peers, poor and deprived children form more stress-ridden attachments with parents, teachers, and adult caregivers and have difficulty establishing rewarding friendships with children their own age. They are more likely than well-off children to believe that their parents are uninterested in their activities, to receive less positive reinforcement from teachers and less homework help from parents and to experience more turbulent or unhealthy friendships and relationship.

Political elites and wealthy members of society and states initially crafted social inequality in order to maintain their own power and wealth, while simultaneously creating social structures that eliminated the possibility of upward mobility for lower classes. This view is corroborated by social dominance theorists who suggest that social inequality exists due to the set of beliefs developed and maintained by social hierarchical class. In other words, the aspiration of the wealthy and powerful to maintain their control offers a simple and clear cause to the perpetual existence of social inequality. As such, social inequality greatly impacts economic, social, and political domains and the relationships of those domains at the individual, local, and global levels. The effects of social inequality on an individual may lead to negative outcomes, such as violence, victimization, mental illness, substance abuse, homelessness, and disease. Individuals who experience social inequality also tend to lack in social capital. It is found that there is a strong relationship between low social capital and high mortality rates.

The writer is Consultant

Community Development Centre (CODEC)