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Poverty Alleviation Role of NGOs

The discussion of any social phenomena needs to clearly separate two levels of dealing with them, the utopian yardstick, that is the ethically desirable on one side, and the historically prevailing reality on the other, what should be, and what is or was, too often mixed even in academic discussion. However, the bias of the ethical yardstick will always be there in our observations, as yardsticks for observation and interpretation are necessary, but should be clearly marked for the transparency of the analysis.

We know all religions teach that pain, hunger, disease and death are inevitable parts of life, as a consequence of the expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Also that all men and women were created equal, that is to share the delights as well as the burden. Enlightenment liberated most of us from the clutches of a [Christian] clergy, that tried to keep man under a cloud of guilt and fear. But this liberation, which brought about the revolution of science and technology, which permits us to relieve pain, hunger and disease, in turn led also to the hubris of the industrial age, shared by capitalism, fascism and communism alike, that the borrowed creativity of men could conquer everything. The post-Cold-War shock discovery of the destructive potential of man’s liberation, if solely based on pathological submission to greed and ego, may hopefully bring more humility, submission neither to church nor mammon nor inflated egos, but creation as a whole, submit to the inevitability of death, learn to live with some pain and to share. Those are the yardsticks. Now the other side of reality.


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Dr. Hans Frey

 

Source: Poverty Alleviation in Pakistan: Present Scenario and Future Strategy, Mohibul Haq Sahibzada. Republished with permission.