Written by Nathaniel Alvino Risa Prima, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia
Each day, we encounter the familiar scene of people, old and young, roaming the tips of traffic intersections as vehicles were stopped for traffic signs. They are holding used cups, asking for little money: some coins. While thick dust tints their clothes and road pollution turns their skin into the color of smoke, their only gesture and glance appeal for pity from the commuters who are lucky enough to sit on their million-rupiahs vehicle. Not rarely that they are getting ignored because they are perceived to be communal disturbances. As the green light flashes, these people vanish to the obstreperous sound of machines, and loud honking horns. They, again, surrender to the edge of the scene, being muted by the city’s multitudes and its hustle.
This every-day urban portrayal is not meant to elaborate that the certain state of economic equality surrounding the less populated areas is any better, for instead, it is worse in number. In Indonesia alone, the majority of poverty occurs in the rurals and isolated areas. Compared to 7.38 percent of the vulnerable population in the urban areas, the rurals poverty rate has almost doubled to 12.82 percent (SDGs Desa, 2020). The limitation of infrastructure and less economic distribution might take account of the occurrence of poverty, in addition to worsening finance during pandemic. This picturization indeed brings the challenges to Indonesia’s ambitious national aspiration towards 2030’s vision of zero percent poverty in the rural zones.
Well, before going deeper on this matter and jumping on how we need to eradicate poverty, first of all, we need to figure out what is truly defined by poverty!
Poverty, as a socio-economic phenomenon, might be defined as the people’s unavailability of resources to meet basic needs, which include food, clothing, and shelter (New Brunswick, 2009). The World Bank associates poverty with the lack of access to education, health, as well as protection from violence. These are all the factors which make the subjects affiliated with poverty to be vulnerable in nature, thus, urged to be reached and assisted. The complexities of poverty itself have caused its roots to be rather hard to judge – as its specificity may vary between subjects, communities, and states. Thus, relying on a single, universal measurement will be useless in explaining poverty’s roots. As per se, the occurrence of poverty in Indonesia can’t be judged with the same economic perspective and strategy as in the United States, right? Thus, the core aim should be directed to figure out specific approaches to end poverty for each community which will be diverse (and complex) from one another.
Nonetheless, poverty remains as a global issue that needs our attention. It is crucial for each member of society to work hand in hand to help those in need in order to eradicate poverty. Thus, we are led to the next intriguing question: how are we really going to do it?
Hmm, actually, the main hope now lies in the central government and its policy-makers, as the United Nations alone has stated that the eradication of poverty is the subject of greater, macro-level pursuit. It is expected that governments around the world, hand-in-hand, might create cross-border cooperation (e.g. international trade, agricultural cooperation, improvement of technology and education) in order to minimize poverty and its effects. Higher middle income countries such as Mexico, Brazil, as well as Indonesia, have proven that international cooperation would instead bring change to poverty in terms of numbers.
The capacity of us, the public, is pretty much revolved in the pushing for related agendas via mass-campaigns and aspirations delivery to the body of government, in addition to communal works. Because of the nature of poverty that is systemic and our certain limitations as civilians, it would be rather difficult to position ourselves higher than the government within this complex, structural matter – not to say that many of us still also face financial challenges from day to day. Meanwhile, for those who are lucky enough to have material resources, the utilization of jobs creation through the creation of new businesses, might be helpful to empowering those who are in need. So, prepare your entrepreneur skills!
In correlation with the significant numbers of poverty in the rural areas, the reliance on local agriculture products will indeed take account of change, since most of the rural economic circulation revolves around farmlands. Rather than to give more economic benefits to bigger food-supply companies, it is better to help the economically-vulnerable traditional farmers by buying their products, right?
Furthermore, we might also comply with the utilization of civil assistants through further social works and community engagement that contribute to equal economic distribution for the vulnerable subjects. It might be done via humanitarian actions in the forms of communal provision of food, health, and education. Herein, our humane sensitivity, concerns, compassion, and privilege awareness are truly being examined!
Kemendesa. SDGs Desa Nomor 1: Desa Tanpa Kemiskinan. Retrieved from https://sdgsdesa.kemendesa.go.id/sdgs-desa-no-1-desa-tanpa-kemiskinan/