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Insights Weekly Essay Challenges 2018 – Week 42: Poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere

Insights Weekly Essay Challenges 2018 – Week 42


22 October 2018

Write an essay on the following topic in not more than 1000-1200 words:


Poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere

Hint to Topic:

It is one of the key principles declared at the International Labour Organisation(ILO) Declaration of Philadelphia, 1944. (Other principles under this declaration can be potential future Essay topics! – please note down)

The topic says that effects of poverty are not localised, but can threaten prosperity everywhere. It’s a sweeping statement, yet true in many instances.


  • First understand topic in its entirety (don’t just focus on the word – Poverty). Take your time to think over keywords (Poverty vs Prosperity) in the topic. Read topic 3-4 times, and while reading the topic keep thinking of related examples/instances – temporally and spatially.  
  • Once you understand topic, write 2-3 lines on rough paper your interpretation of topic in as simple words as possible. Read this interpretation 2-3 times and again look at the topic. This is important because you should not deviate at any cost in your essay
  • Then brainstorm on the topic – here, don’t write everything you know. Instead focus only on key dimensions and examples that you want to include. Create a mind map kind of structure. 
  • Start this essay (introduction) with powerful/impactful stat. Or with a quotes taken from important report. 
  • In the introduction, compulsorily contextualise this topic i.e. why this topic is important or relevant today- both globally and in the Indian context. 
  • After writing context, write few lines about the topic and its general meaning. Then, write briefly about  important dimensions that you want to include in the essay (or you may write about most important dimension if you don’t want to reveal all)
  • After introduction, write a thesis statement stating what’s going to be your central argument and how you are going to defend it (in 2-3 lines)
  • In the body, identify 6-7 broad dimensions related to the topic  such as: Poverty vs Security (Wars, civil wars, drug wars, insurgency, terrorism, extremism, radicalism, communalism, genocides, ethnic cleansing etc); Poverty vs Diseases (AIDS, Ebola, Zika, West Nile, Malarial, TB etc); Poverty vs Environment (loss of habitat, loss of vegetation – associated natural disasters, desertification etc); Poverty vs InequalityPoverty vs Food security etc.
  • While writing various dimensions, make sure they are relevant to the topic in question. Don’t deviate. Link arguments to support the topic. Also don’t forget to write your own thoughts about each dimensions (this part where you write your interpretation is key to fetch more marks in essay). For every argument, give examples, or illustrate with suitable illustrations such as stories, fables etc. Also make sure to interlink sub-dimensions within each dimension. There should be linkages between different dimensions as well. 
  • Use stats and data to support or validate your statements/arguments. 
  • Also try to include other dimensions such as where poverty has led to revolutions and in turn prosperity to nations. 
  • Other dimensions could be – intellectual poverty, moral poverty (in addition to material poverty) – their impact on prosperity. 
  • Make your essay engaging and interesting by giving interesting examples from world history, sociology, anthropology etc. (Always think of unique examples or stories or anecdotes)
  • In the conclusion provide more optimistic future of the world where poverty can be eradicated (may be with the advent of machines, or with revolutions – use your imagination). 
  • Go beyond India and make your essay universal.