GiftHow far would a Million Pounds go in today’s world? I am not talking about spending a million pounds, rather i am interested to know how many lives can be changed with a million pounds. To realistically estimate this, first i probably need to list the top issues that the world faces. And i need to be careful to list the ones that can be solved using money.


First and the foremost is Poverty. It is just unacceptable to see people die in this world because of lack of food to eat. Whilst many people i know of, worry about lack of having the latest car, it is unbelievable to see people on the other side of the world actually starving to death. Unfortunately, the human society is dominated by money and the general population don’t even know if people who struggle to find food to survive do really exist or not.


The next major issue that dominates the world is Illiteracy. About half the people alive in this world cannot read or write. These people have no real chance of improving their life because they were denied education or were not interested in being literate. Illiteracy is horrible because it is the knowledge that helps us solve issues and fight ourselves out of other problems. By not possessing the very basic requirement of education, it is impossible to improve the quality of life.

Good Health:

After all, we all want to live a healthy life until we die. But most of us are not so fortunate enough to enjoy such a basic requirement. Of course, some health problems are outside our control. But health problems that are being caused due to lack of money are regrettable. It is one of the worst situation a man can be – knowing he/she can live if someone helped them with some man made money.

Environmental impact:

Due to continuous growth that is fuelled by economy and psychology, humans are constantly pushing mother nature to her uncomfortable zone. From clearing the amazon at an alarming rate and fencing free lands in Africa to restrict wild animals to allowing the arctic ice shelves to melt because of excessive pollution, we are consciously committing a serious blunder. There are a number of good hearted people who protest against these moves and also some interesting organisations who collect donations from people and try and help the environment. But the problem looks unsolvable just by these good hearts.

A Million pounds it is!

So, now that i have 4 main topics in my agenda, i did some basic research on the Internet to see how many lives can be changed by giving off a million pounds.

Remember, these problems are listed in the decreasing order of magnitude. So, i think poverty is more severe than illiteracy and illiteracy is more severe than health and so on.

  • So, If i give away all my £1 million to help the poor, then i can probably feed about 5000 people for a year.
  • On the other hand, if i wanted to spend on educating the illiterate population i might just manage to train around 10,000 people with a specific skill.
  • If i decide to spend the million on providing a better health to the needy, then i might be able to help build about 10 hospitals with basic amenities and employ enough doctors in these hospitals to help people. Also a part of the money can be used to buy stuff to help reduce diseases – like mosquito nets to fight malaria.
  • And finally, if i had to give it away to protect the environment, i could help save about 20,000 acres of rain forest from deforestation.

Well, there are a handful of difficult choices here. Right from the start, i have hated to learn that people die of hunger everyday. The world as it exists has enough resources for all beings that live here. It’s a shame that humans have shown their jealousy to own what they really don’t – the world!

It’s decision time…

So, by default i would have gone ahead and helped the people in hunger. But looking again at the options, i now believe i will decide to give away a substantial percentage  of the £1 million to train people on a specific skill. This skill, once acquired will go a long way and it might help them earn their food for their entire lifetime. Not just theirs but probably for their entire family.

The skill with not only fetch food, but medicines and an overall improvement in quality of life. Once everyone is educated to take a conscious decision we probably won’t have environmental issues on today’s scale. Then, people will be capable of putting forth their views even against corrupt politicians and evil business men and make this world a better place to live.

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