How important is social status to you? How much would you be willing to sacrifice to maintain an image of affluence? Are you one of the ‘Urban Poor’
Urban poverty normally refers to the state of those people living in cities who have limited access to employment, health and education opportunities, among other things. There has however, emerged a new breed of poor who drive fancy cars, never compromise on style and are known to frequent expensive cafes and clubs. These same people are also forced to starve or be homeless because they would rather do that than come across as poor in the eyes of their peers. Does that shock you? These individuals are willing to sacrifice the most basic of necessities like food and shelter, all for the sake of public perception.
In view of the recent debate around keeping up appearances and the cost it comes at, we decided to ask a few people what they thought.
Here’s what they had to say:
Sarita: Hopefully stupidity is not contagious.
Nishant: It’s being fake on another level!
Sheetal: It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.
Rakesh: They’re just fine the way they are.
Gunjan: It’s funny. I think naturally, people would know how to control their expenses, no? It sounds unrealistic. Why would you spend an exorbitant amount of money on something like a coffee, which you don’t really need when you don’t have money to go home? It’s unbelievable.
Sanesh: I could relate to it because at one point I went through it myself, spending on things unnecessarily. I just couldn’t say no. If anyone suggested something, I’d say, yeah, I’ll be there. It was a relief that my dad got me out of it. In the end, it’s all about self-control.
Lehar: It’s really sad and unfortunate but being a victim to this myself, having skipped meals to go shopping instead, when I was in college. The worst part? I still didn’t lose any weight. Though, I don’t sacrifice necessities anymore, I am really looking forward to being less of a spendthrift.
Shrutika: I bought an iPhone because of the mass appeal of it even though I overshot my budget. Skip meals to save money for the phone? Yeah, kind of! And told people I was on a diet.
Dheeraj: I was quite surprised and shocked.
Kavya: I feel sorry for them. They should be smarter.
Shivank: This is very common in Delhi.
Meghna: I think this is quite real although I don’t really subscribe to it. It’s personal and everyone differs but it is quite true these days that people give more importance to appearances than actually going by what they have in terms of the money they earn and everything. So, I think people should be a little more responsible and stop worrying about what others think.
Sahana: I don’t think anyone has to give in to peer pressure. On some level I understand but you grow up and realise that you actually shouldn’t give in to peer pressure. You’re just destroying your life if you do that.
Archana: These are stupid things. I mean why would you spend money on something like a car and spend money extravagantly when you don’t have money to pay rent or fulfil your basic needs? I think planning is required. You need to feed yourself first and then worry about how society sees you. It’s not important.
Aarti: What I would say is that you can’t have a Rs.10,000 bag to put a Rs. 10 note in it. It’s not about fitting in; it’s about how comfortable you are in your own shoes.
Nilofer: It’s quite accurate. It happens a lot. It’s all about balancing the pressure. The pressure to fit in will always be there. It’s real. I’m living it!
Susan: Personally, I’ve never come across anyone who compromises on basic necessities. Maybe I’m blind to it, I don’t know. I’ve never realised that this was happening. Maybe I’ll keep a look out now. I’d tell someone like this to eat first.
Pooja: Manage your money well.
Ruchika: It’s like me earning, to come to the office, to pay for an Uber.
Additional Reading: Urban And Poor? You Don’t Need To Be
Have something to say yourself? Leave us a comment.