According to the latest data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS) there were 28.01 million Indonesians living below the poverty line in March 2016, or 10.86 percent of the total Indonesian population. This is an improvement from September 2015 when Indonesia’s poverty figure stood at 11.13 percent, or 28.51 million in absolute terms. Indonesia’s central statistics agency releases the nation’s poverty figures twice per year, covering the months March and September.
The poverty in Aceh is also very high. Graphically, those districts closest to Banda Aceh are less vulnerable to poverty and show less poverty level while districts in Central Aceh and Southern Aceh show higher poverty levels. According to Central Statistics Agency (BPS), 16.4 percent or 841,000, of Aceh’s 5 million people live in poverty. Aceh is second poorest in Sumatra after Bengkulu, where poverty rate hit 17.32 percent. In Indonesia, Aceh is the seventh-least-developed province. The state government has completely failed to tackle poverty in Aceh. The Aceh government should ameliorate people’s standard of living. There is an old saying that “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime”
There are many ways to stop poverty. Some of them are discussed below.
1. Corruption: Corruption is prevalent in all countries in some or other ways. Corruption is the fundamental cause of poverty. It is also the responsibility of citizens to stop corruption. Neither pay nor take bribes, encourage others to obey law and to treat public resources respectfully. If you have suspicious that some form of corruption taking place. You should report it immediately. Corruption is a major impediment of progress and development.
2. Education: Illiteracy is a major problem in underdeveloped countries. Education is the key to success. Illiterate people living in villages find difficult to get job. Education will empower them to engage in better jobs, which in turn would help them to eradicate illiteracy and poverty. Without good education it is difficult to achieve something in life. A good education is important because it will make your path brighter. You will able to contribute to society. It is rightly said that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
3. Increase employment: Unemployment is another cause of poverty. Government should take major steps to eradicate unemployment. Agriculture sector should be developed. Government should teach farmers new techniques about farming. Small scale industries and cottage industries should be developed in backward areas.
4. Stability in price level: Stability in prices helps to remove poverty. If prices continue to rise the poorer will get poorer. In some countries, the salary is low but cost of living is very high. It is very difficult for poor people to survive. The government should try to assuage the public’s grievance. The government should keep the prices under control.
5. Development skills: The world is changing very fast. We are living in the era of computer and internet. Every corporate is looking for skilled employees. Government need to give training and education as to technology, pharmacy, agricultural and farms. So that modern industries can get technically skilled labors. Establishing vocational training centers in every district, it is a big step towards the eradication of poverty.
6. Encourage farmers: Poor farmers lack access to affordable income generating tools such as small-plot irrigation, information on how to farm better, access to market for the crop they grow and financial support from government. Government need to support farmers in order to eradicate poverty. Indonesia struggles with rising cost of wheat, fruits, corn, meat and other food imports. Indonesian government should support small scale sustainable farmers as a way to reduce dependence on volatile global market. It has been rightly said that, “Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful and most noble employment of man.”
7. Zakat: Zakat: The giving of alms to the poor and needy, is one of the five pillars of Islam. Poverty can also be eradicated if all Muslims in Indonesia start giving Zakat, which is mandatory. Zakat and Saqdah cannot only help eradicate poverty but can also bring people closer — not only Muslims but also even people from other faiths. Omar Bin Khattab, one of the rightly guided caliphs of Islam, helped an old Jew from the Bait Al-Mal.
The Muslim world is full of resources and has many rich people but it is very important to be part of society and pay our dues. It is our responsibility to fight poverty and Zakat is the Islamic solution to this problem.
Poverty impedes development and progress in the society. We have learned that poverty can be stopped with the help of government. The government should address these issues quickly as thousands of people are dying every year. To eradicate poverty is monumental but not impossible. If government is willing to eradicate poverty then it is possible to eradicate poverty but it will require a leadership with veracity.
Penulis: Aqib Farooq Mir