Related Evils: Poverty and Alcohol
Tanul's journey is not an isolated incident. It's a problem all over the world; alcoholism and poverty go hand-in-hand. Though it is not proventhat one always leads to the other, there is an ugly, symbiotic relationship. As alcohol consumption increases, employability decreases. While employment dries up, many use drinking to ease the shame, which exacerbates the cycle. Often, the only work left for alcoholics in Asia is manual labor for which they are hired on a day-by-day basis. Because of the difficulty—and sometimes the impossibility—for the poor to rise above these employment options, many turn to alcohol to ease poverty's sting. The stress of not knowing if you will find work each day inflates the problem.
As Tanul's family fell apart, another near relation to the twin problems of alcoholism and poverty arrived: domestic violence. Coming home intoxicated and angry, Tanul began abusing his wife and children daily. The little money he earned went to supporting his addiction. This family, plagued by poverty, alcoholism and domestic violence, was living out the well-worn path blazed by many of the world's extreme poor. Without access to education, Maahir, Tanul's son, seemed doomed to tread the path his father laid before him.
Tanul's family was plagued by poverty, alcoholism and domestic violence.
Eventually, Tanul stopped working completely and left the burden of providing for the family in his adolescent son's hands. Maahir found one of the few jobs available for uneducated youth—washing dishes in a local hotel—to provide the little food the family had to keep death at bay.
Extreme poverty, like that experienced by Tanul's family, exists all over the world—in developed, developing and under-developed countries alike. Extreme poverty, a classification distinct from poverty, encompasses those unable to provide for daily means of survival.