Poverty, in today’s world is a state of relentless destitution that needs our immediate attention. But often, our attention gets stuck between the notion of help and charity. Nelson Mandela once said, “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.” But can we understand what it really feels to be poor?
Manny Pacquiao, the world renowned professional boxer and a senator in Philippines, once embodied the notion of poverty to its core. Growing up in a poor family in the Sarangani province of Philippines, he quit school at the age of 10. Leaving home at the age of 15, he spent many nights with an aching stomach on the streets of Manila. Striving hard for years on, the Manny Pacquiaio of today might be a hard hitter in the ring, but his heart still feels the tinge of poverty.
This is why recently he took it upon himself to help the poor of Philippines by spending more than $2 million to build over 1000 houses in the Sarangani Province.
The gesture was widely acknowledged when multi-millionaire boxer took to Facebook to reciprocate his actions in words.
“I am so happy giving these houses free to my constituents in the Sarangani Province from my own pocket – more than thousand families are the beneficiaries. As faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms, each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others. I’m still building more because I always believe what the bible says offer hospitality to one another without grumbling”, says the champ.
Although the gesture was a testament of magnanimity, it wasn’t surprising for many. People understand the circumstances that Manny has been in and has always advocated for those living in penury. Pacquiao has been known for contributing and using the money won in boxing fights for the cause of the impoverished. These actions can only be glorified and can become a mirror for the society in the immortalized statement of Nelson Mandela that, ‘The world is hungry for action and not words”.
ANUBHOOTI JAIN | TOC
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