For most of us, poverty is just numbers... Some numbers that describe people with income less than such-and-such, people with access to so-many calories of nutrition/day, approximate number of people who live and sleep on the footpaths, who do not have land or any assets.... etc.
Numbers are perhaps also our way of dis-infecting the emotions we would need to deal with (within ourselves) from the experiential reality poverty. They shield one from the experience of what it means to be poor, to understand poverty from the poors' point-of view.
Partly, learning from some conversations I have been having with people like these in the pictures (all except one are mine, which I had downloaded from another site/blog; I would like to give credits, but have no references with me), partly trying to consolidate the overall meaning of some postings that I had made on this blog (have linked the URLs in the text), partly by observing how they are treated by others, and partly because I am reading a book called Voices of the Poor, here are a few things I have come to understand:
Being poor, of course, means not having adequate and regular income, often having to sleep empty stomach, shivering during winters, and often not having a home to call one's own... But these are only the visible tip of the iceberg. The day-to-day living experience is far more daunting and demeaning. For instance: