‘I am poor’ painted on houses in Rajasthan

first_imgIn an apparent profiling of the poor, the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Rajasthan has painted thousands of houses of Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in the villages of Dausa district with ‘I am poor…I get ration’ for eligibility to subsidised food grains under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).The move has sparked an outrage among social activists. The Congress charged the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with humiliating the poor and making a mockery of the Public Distribution System (PDS). The yellow ‘stamps of poverty’ on the walls of these houses carry the name of head of the household.The markings have come up in the Sikrai and Bandikui tehsils of Dausa district, where about 70% of the population benefits from the NFSA. Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities are among the beneficiaries as BPL families.The embarrassed villagers say they feel insulted by the markings. “We are made to suffer this humiliation for 10 kilos of wheat…The government officials spoil our walls and people make fun of us,” a resident of the Kundera Dungar village told a television news channel.Dausa Zila Parishad Chief Executive Officer Rajendra Singh Kavia told The Hindu on Thursday that the markings were made in compliance with three-year-old directions of the State government. “The primary aim of the exercise is to identify the NFSA scheme’s beneficiaries and prevent pilferage of subsidies by ineligible people,” he said.Mr. Kavia said a similar exercise had been undertaken in several other districts, such as Pali and Baran, and there was no intention on part of the government officials to “name and shame” anyone. He said the “relevant information” was painted on houses via the Panchayat bodies in a transparent manner.The Opposition Congress has slammed the BJP government for the move, saying it was the legal right of the BPL beneficiaries to get ration under the NFSA. Pradesh Congress spokesperson Archana Sharma said it was a ploy of the ruling BJP to reduce the number of beneficiaries and deprive the poor people of their rights.Dr. Sharma also took exception to a charge reportedly made by Panchayati Raj Minister Rajendra Rathore that the practice of writing “BPL family” outside the houses of beneficiaries was started by the previous Congress regime. “There is no truth in it. In fact, the NFSA was brought by the UPA government to ensure food security of poor people and remove malnutrition,” she said.last_img

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