Every person is his own reason for what he is in his life and how his life is. From my point of view, helping downtrodden people is completely pointless. They are so because they decided to be so. The richest of people, the most elite of minds and all those who are worth remembering were at some point of time, below what they later became. It was because of their decision and effort they reached that point.
So we are in no position to help poor people. If they want to lead a self-reliant life, they have to take the effort, and once they take an effort, they have it . If they are not ready, we need not help them. The balance of the world is maintained only if we work for our progress, helping those who do not work will bridge the gap between the high and the low.
The rich get richer and the poor get poorer - this is the way of the world. It is for every individual to decide which side to leap.
Help the people who deserve, not those who desire and those who do not even dream.