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  India   All India  22 Jun 2017  Declare penury publicly to avail BPL benefits

Declare penury publicly to avail BPL benefits

Published : Jun 22, 2017, 1:35 am IST
Updated : Jun 22, 2017, 1:35 am IST

District admin in Dausa wants signboards outside houses for scheme.

Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Rajendra Singh Rathore
 Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Rajendra Singh Rathore

Jaipur: Availing benefits of government welfare schemes was never an easy task for the poor but now it is humiliating as well. In order to get benefits of welfare schemes for BPL category, they have to put up yellow signboards outside home that read “I am poor and I avail government benefits”.

In Dausa, the district administration has painted front walls of BPL beneficiaries’ houses in yellow with a declaration that the family is poor and availing BPL benefits. All this for 10 kg wheat under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). However, even this does not provide certainty of receiving the food.

Around 50,000 households in Sikrai and Bandikui tehsil of Dausa district have such demarcations at their homes. This is not the first time that it has happened. Earlier, district administration in Bhilwara had marked BPL houses with a yellow patch with the name of the beneficiary and identification number.

Upto three or four declarations were put up on a single house. Whoever refuses to comply would be excluded from the list of beneficiaries. However, some have not received ration for months despite having the declaration. Some have now removed their names or the word poor from the signboards.

While the government says that the move was just to ensure that the benefit did not go to the wrong people, experts differ. According to them, this “marking” of people on an economic basis would create a divide in the society and may lead to social unrest. “This kind of public shaming and humiliation would affect morale and self esteem of the family especially the children,” said psychologist Rita Dave.

Minister for panchayati raj and rural development Rajendra Singh Rathore said that the process not only helped in identifying those living in the BPL category but also made it impossible for those who are well off yet to availing the benefits.

Mr Rathore also claimed that the practice of identifying BPL families by writing BPL outside their homes was started by the previous Congress government. “The practice was started under then chief minister Ashok Gehlot and today he is politicising this matter,” he alleged.

Tags: national food security act, rajendra singh rathore, government welfare schemes
Location: India, Rajasthan, Jaipur