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Poverty v/s Dignity in Brazil

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Written by Kanika Sachdeva

The soccer season has commenced round the globe with the opening ceremony of 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. The excitement amongst the soccer fans is at its highest. This year 32 countries are battling to win the cup. The estimated cost, to be borne by the Brazilian government, to host this tournament, is about $ 14billion. This is the most expensive World Cup ever hosted in the history of 84 years of soccer.

The soccer fans of Brazil have been eagerly waiting for this mega event, to be hosted in their own nation. But many of them seem to be unhappy. Protestors have been protesting against the issue of hosting the World Cup for about a year now. These protests initially began to oppose the increment in transportation fares, and later on started to focus on other issues too. But the core reason behind these protests is the widespread income disparity in the nation. The wealthy are becoming wealthier, and the poor are becoming poorer. The citizens of Brazil have defined their priority by forcing the government to focus on expenditure on public services such as health and education, rather than overspending on this tournament. People feel although this tournament is going to bring business to Brazil in the form of tourists attending it, the business is going to benefit the elite. The money has been spent on improving infrastructural facilities of the nation, major including 12 stadiums where matches will be held and airports. But protestors believe that these stadiums will ultimately prove to be a liability for the Brazilian government after the World Cup is over. The scenario forces one to conclude that the poor are the ultimate sufferers, and will not get any benefit out of this. The protestors have been constantly blaming the corrupt government for this outburst. It seems the committee which prepared the sports budget for this world cup is not at all considerate about the needs of the non-elite. The protestors strongly believe that the money spent on the tournament could have been instrumental in alleviating poverty by providing them basic welfare services.

Brazil will undoubtedly uphold its dignity by successfully hosting FIFA World Cup 2014 but the problem of poverty will remain, if not catered to.

The big question which stands unanswered is: “Is it correct on the part of a progressing nation like Brazil to spend such a huge amount for the pleasure of few at the cost of the remaining many?”

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Kanika Sachdeva

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