Thursday, April 8, 2010

34. A card to prosperity

In recent times, hundreds of newly built toilets have been ripped apart by poor households in many parts of rural Madhya Pradesh. Eyewitness report that such incidents have been rampant across the countryside where these subsidised structures have sprung under the ambitious total sanitation campaign. But why would the poor engage in such destructive activity?

Posessing a toilet not only lifts them above the poverty line (as it adds up the requisite points to jump the line) but strips them of the attractive doles too. Who would not want to remain poor when hundred days of assured employment, cashless health care facility,subsidised ration and free education are on offer? The virtue of being `below poverty line' is without doubt compelling. A one-time toilet in contrast is a contraption, a poor substitute for lucrative monthly gains.

India is perhaps the only country in the world where poverty has a premium. BPL Card is like a privy purse, a contribution by the rich state to sustain its poor below an imaginary `line'. Each new move by the government, be it the rural employment guarantee scheme or the ambitious food security program, is designed to increase the number of poor. Poverty is a grand celebration for keeping the machinery called `government' well oiled. Smells fish!

The poor don't need fish but a helping hand to catch a fish!


Vijay Rai said...

Very well stated. The state is encouraging the poor to remain poor or at least continue to be labelled so. Nothing wrong with helping the poor with tax-payers money but is any one monitoring how much of it goes down the drain (drain= pocket of Netas) Rajiv Gandhi knew but why his successors have forgotten.
-Vijay Rai

Dr.RPS said...

I had lot of chance to see the importance of this gift(BPLCard) nobody who got this card wantsto come out. Lotof people enjoying to have this but they are notinthis criteria and the real poor still stuglling to get it.

Kuldeep said...

If a government thinks that a poor is no longer poor the moment the same government builds a toilet in his home, it is better to flush out such policymakers. It is like adopting a poor child one day and discarding him next day since his living standard has improved.

Setting a fluctuating cutoff line or thin boundary as criteria for deciding who is poor and who is not, exposes the feudal mindset of India's modern Rajas. And they certainly enjoy the game "You are poor. You are no more poor".
Imagine a poor desperately pleading before the officials not to put him above poverty line because it would destroy his support system essential for survival of his family.

Anonymous said...


Dr.HC said...

The whole game is based on the criteria formulated by the govt machinery and the criteria one formulated are not being evaluated for many years. This is the real scenario of the country having rising economy. I could not understand how the toilet generate income for bring prosperity in the family by breaking the poverty cycle in the rural area????