Poverty Matchmaker.com: Sign up now for a free trial. Date Smarter! Poverty “Approximately one-fifth of the worlds population, over one billion people, earns less than one dollar a day” (Readings on Poverty). Living in todays society, as unpalatable as it may be, it is succinct that homelessness, hunger, lack of work, and illiteracy are direct effects of destituity among people today. As a result, this causes people to struggle throughout their lives. Nectar in a Sieve, a compelling story about a destitute family by Kamala Markandaya, illustrates powerful examples of results from the limited options in India. After reading this novel, and examining how poverty effects the world, I am now cognizant about how great of an effect poverty has on millions of people today.
Homelessness, a ubiquitous problem in the world, is a murky road to ultimate despair. There are many different reasons for homelessness, but there are a few well-traveled paths to destitution; Mental illness, lack of affordable housing, family breakdown, and alcoholism are all factors. A chilling fact, from any point of view, is that small children have become the fastest-growing sector of homelessness. “The average homeless family includes a parent with two or three children. The average child is six years old, the average parent twenty-seven” (Orr 29).
This may seem unreal, but in Massachusetts alone, three fourths of all homeless people are now children and their parents. Today, the chronically and severely mentally ill are not proficient at coping with the stresses of this world. They are vulnerable to eviction from their living arrangements, mostly because of the stress of dealing with various problems such as landlord situations. Many tend to drift away from their families and will loose all goals in their life. “Once the mentally ill are out on their own, they will more than likely stop taking their medications and after a while will lose touch with the Social Security Administration and will no longer be able to receive their Supplemental Security Income checks” (58). Because of their poor judgment and disarray, they will fail to notify anyone and could end up on the streets, where the effects of drugs and alcohol will lead into further serious complications.
Once at this stage, they can no longer look after themselves, and the only way of being succored from this lifestyle is from acting in a bizarre or disruptive manner, which will lead to being taken to a jail or hospital. “The most important thing in every mans life is shelter, once you have shelter, then you are able to get yourself together..” (Hope 183). Its necessary to get into a shelter or the result could be the downfall of ones life. Once in a shelter, its easier to develop the idea of getting out of trouble that one has already sunk into. Other than just looking at the mentally ill being associated with homelessness, lack of affordable housing is also another factor.
In todays world, everything is being replaced; out with the old, in with the new. As senile housing units are bulldozed to the ground, not only is the unit itself destroyed, but also the affordability of housing. This now makes the availability of low-income housing less and less. Kamala Markandaya illustrates homelessness clearly to her audience as Ruki and Nathan are thrown from their house and village. As Ruki and Nathan walk through the city, they discover they are not the only people who are homeless. ” We may yet be forced to that said Nathan pointing to their begging howls, if we do not find out son ” (Markandaya 155).
The city, crowded with mendicants, paints a perfect example of all the homeless people; there are even homeless children. When the worried Nathan says, “forced to that”, he too recognizes the lack of options for them, thus they may be forced to beg. Just as there are homeless people during the day, there are the same homeless people at night and they too must find somewhere to sleep. Ruki and Nathan, tired and worn out, realize this as it approaches nighttime in the city. “Well, if you do not arrive tonight there is a temple not far from here where you can eat and sleep” (146). An invitation to a temple to eat and sleep at is not always something you would expect to hear from strangers.
The temple must be organized to aid the poor and homeless. If there were not many people who were poor or homeless in the first place, there would not be an organization to help them. Alcoholism also contributes to homelessness. Homeless people with complex alcohol problems face particular difficulties in finding accommodations. Many landlords are reluctant to accept homeless people with these problems for fear of destruction of their property.
After losing a job, loved one, or marital difficulty, many turn to alcohol to wash away their pain. Moving on, hunger also contributes to penury. “Mealtime..for some it is sitting down to a small portion of the usual rice and vegetables” (Aaseng 7). When small children are only fed a small portion of rice at every meal, it is not enough for them to develop properly. The reality of hunger in the world is almost too hideous to ponder.
Hunger, malnutrition, famine, and starvation, all refer to the situation in which a person doesnt eat enough to sustain normal life. Once this takes place, the body cannot grow, but has to sustain its current level. This will prevent children from growing to their full genetic potential. The resistance to disease will be reduced and a longer recovery time from illness will occur. Malnutrition may impair mental capacity and physical capacity.
The biggest effect is that malnutrition greatly increases mortality rates. Throughout Nectar in a Sieve, Nathans household is constantly fighting the struggle of hunger. While the entire family is suffering at one point, Raja decides to take matters into his own hands. As a result of stealing, Raja is killed. “One day Raja went out as usual and did not come back.
At dusk they brought his body home slung between two men, one at the head and one at the feet.” (Markandaya 93). During this time, their family was suffering from lack of food, even eating grass at times. This illustrates the great need for food that can not be provided by a family. If not killed from stealing, one could just die from the lack of nutrients. “Our last child, conceived in happiness at a time when the river of our lives ran gently, had been taken from us..” (105). Because of poverty, innocent Kuti was robbed of his life from the lack of food in his family.
“The strife had lasted too long and had been too painful for me to call him back to continue it” (105). Ruki demonstrates the harshness of starvation. She tells the readers that she would rather her youngest son die then to plague him with the lack of food. “Each day, 35,000 children under the age of …