Tuesday, March 24, 2009

25kg rice or wheat/month to every family below poverty line at Rs 3/kg

Now the UPA joins the bandwagon and on a national scale that too..

In 1982 the then CM of Tamilnadu Mr. MGR universalized (for TN that is) the now famous "Mid day meal" scheme, to pull children (esp from the lower income class) to the schools, which was/is/and will be a brilliant idea. The mid-day meal scheme is now being implement nationally and also followed by other countries to eradicate illiteracy, child malnourishment etc

However, this version of freebie lunch was thoroughly misunderstood by other politicians, including Mr.MGRs parallel in AP Mr. NTR who implemented the Rs 2/Kg rice scheme for BPL families. And the rest as they say is history. Many states and political parties have launched different versions of the same over the years now, most of it being electoral promises.

If your stomach (including your family's) could be taken care by 25*3 = 75 rs + another say 125 = Rs 200/month, your target would be earn just that, which is approximately a day's agricultural labour. Supplement this with free TV and other freebies, the result is a disaster. What it has done is, it has reduced the incentive for people to work and earn for a livelihood, aspire and grow to acheive a better quality of life.

Shortage of labour is a big problem in rural areas today. Many of the framers are hence now shifting from manual labour to argricultural machines, which requires huge investment, without actually doing the required work. This is also slowly but surely erasing a large employment sector for the lower income class in India.

The freebee schemes instead of providing benefits for the poorer section is pushing them towards the abyss of poverty. The government is no where helping the poor to improve the quality of life by giving free food. Instead of generating employment it is exactly doing the opposite.

It is said that "Ragi kottre ondu dinaddu hasivu hogotte, Ragi beliyodu helkottre ondu varshaddu hasivu hogotte". Well that certainly is falling on deaf ears now.

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