As reported by the Dainik Bhaskar, poor people in Rajasthan villages are facing humiliation if they avail the welfare schemes of the government. The local administration of Dausa district has gone to the extent of shaming the poor who seek ration facilities under the National Food Security Act.
Yellow-coloured boards with the sign ‘I am poor and I avail government benefits’ have been painted outside the houses of every poor family in the villages. In some areas, the local authorities have even struck off the names of the head of the families written outside the house.
About 50,000 houses in Sikrai and Bandikui tehsils of the Dausa district, Rajasthan have been subjected to this campaign carried out by the local authorities who justify the act by saying that they want to filter those misusing welfare schemes of the government. But by making this a compulsory measure, the administration has only been successful in putting these families through utter shame. In fact, there has been an instance when four boards conveying the same message were painted on the walls of one house.
The Fatehpuria family of the Kunder Dunger Panchayat lives in a house that has 20 feet long wall, and a number of posters saying ‘I am poor’ have been put up on the wall with a little gap from one another. The family members are hanging their heads in shame and wish for this ordeal to end soon.
However, there are even instances when the families have accepted their fate and have allowed the administration to put up the boards. But, in spite of that, they have not been able to avail the benefits provided by the government. Durga Devi from the Mahavir Mohalla of the Kunder Dunger Panchayat has not received any ration for the last eight months. Quite similar is the case of Sugni from the same area, whose family has not received ration for a period of one year.
Durga Devi, while showing her ration card, reportedly said, “When I ask the dealers about the wheat that I am supposed to get, they say I am no longer entitled to all of that.”
Some families have even struck out the word “poor” from the boards.
Speaking to The Logical Indian, Mr Rajendra Singh Kaviya, CEO, Zilla Parishad, Dausa confirmed the report and said, “This step has been taken so that the villagers, as well as the concerned authorities, get to know the exact families under the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category. It is important to take such a step so that freeloaders can be removed from the system.”
The Logical Indian community condemns such an insensitive move and appeals to the concerned authorities to look into the matter and do the needful. It is necessary to understand that it is the responsibility of the government to provide for financially backward communities. Also, it is principally wrong on the part of the authorities to pinpoint those who avail benefits from government welfare and put them through an experience of shame, even if it is to provide a better execution of the welfare schemes. Such a measure would only act as a blow to the self-esteem of the people. The authorities need to be reminded that all citizens of India are treated as equals in front of law and any regulation contradicting this idea can never be in the interest of the common man.
Read the full report here