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A taste of poverty

Murtaza Kahloon is living off $2 a day for five days as part of Live Below the Line, a campaign that raises money and awareness of poverty in Papua New Guinea.
Murtaza Kahloon is living off $2 a day for five days as part of Live Below the Line, a campaign that raises money and awareness of poverty in Papua New Guinea. Peter Holt

WHAT'S on your menu this week and how much did it cost?

Murtaza Kahloon's diet consists of mashed potato, baked beans and rice, which costs him a whopping $10.

The Year 11 Whitsunday Anglican School student is participating in Live Below the Line, a campaign that challenges people across Australia to live off $2 a day for five days.

The 15-year-old said it was solely about eating to survive, in order to raise awareness and funds for people living in extreme poverty in Papua New Guinea.

"This is the first time doing it and I'm really passionate about eradicating poverty, especially extreme poverty for children that haven't done anything wrong to live like they do," Mr Kahloon said.

"I was born in South Africa and I've seen a lot of poverty first-hand, so I decided to do something about it."

He is joining thousands of others across Australia to raise $2 million.

"My personal goal is $500 and so far I've raised $357," he said.

"My peers have, surprisingly, shown a lot of support considering they have small-paying jobs."

Mr Kahloon donated $200 to others who are taking part.

While he will be glad to not have to eat mashed potato, he is appreciative of the experience.

"In a way I thought I would be (looking forward to a meal) but when I think about it in context, there are people that go through it every day and in reality they can't just open the fridge at the end of the week and eat what they want," he said.

Follow Murtaza Kahloon's journey at livebelowtheline.com/me/murtaza.

Topics:  live below the line, papua new guinea, poverty


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