Poverty alleviation: In files and reality

Whenever I halt at the red lights of Noida (UP), women in rags, with new born babies tucked under their shawls and wearing a look that beats heights of deceit and brazenness, are seen begging for food; not for themselves, but for the innocent babies they carry.

Beggary in India is a crime, but in the book of laws. It’s evident and we all know that. Any law made in India, serves a medium to warm the pockets of hungry cops. I know the Indian police will outrightly refute this belief of mine, which they might rubbish, calling it just an assumption.

Now coming to the political leaders, I can just say firmly and beyond any doubt that our political leaders, who promise poverty alleviation are liars! If they claim success in poverty alleviation and better housing facility for the people living BPL , why are there more slums than ever? Why is beggary on rise? Why is there uncontrolled population rise among these slum dwellers?

There is neither any resource generation for the people living below poverty line nor there is any “serious” effort by the government to control the multiplying population.

If you have a look at the official sites of the Ministry of Housing and Poverty Alleviation and National Commission on Population, you will just see their aims and objectives being highlighted. If they have achieved something, what’s the harm highlighting them on their official sites?

Here is an endless list of objectives focussed proudly in the official site of the National Commission on Population. I wonder how many of them are really achieved!

National Socio-Demographic Goals for 2010

-Address the unmet needs for basic reproductive and child health services, supplies and infrastructure.

-Make school education up to age 14 free and compulsory, and reduce drop outs at primary and secondary school levels to below 20 percent for both boys and girls.

-Reduce infant mortality rate to below 30 per 1000 live births.

-Reduce maternal mortality ratio to below 100 per 100,000 live births.
-Achieve universal immunization of children against all vaccine preventable diseases.

-Promote delayed marriage for girls, not earlier than age 18 and preferably after 20 years of age.

-Achieve 80 percent institutional deliveries and 100 percent deliveries by trained persons.

-Achieve universal access to information/counseling, and services for fertility regulation and contraception with a wide basket of choices.

-Achieve 100 per cent registration of births, deaths, marriage and pregnancy.

-Contain the spread of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), and promote greater integration between the management of reproductive tract infections (RTI) and sexually transmitted infections (STI) and the National AIDS Control Organisation.

-Prevent and control communicable diseases.

-Integrate Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM) in the provision of reproductive and child health services, and in reaching out to households.

-Promote vigorously the small family norm to achieve replacement levels of TFR.

-Bring about convergence in implementation of related social sector programs so that family welfare becomes a people centred programme.

Only laying down objectives won’t help. The government, in collaboration with various NGOs and with the active support of the local self governing bodies should pace up the so-called poverty alleviation programmes. It’s time to pull up their socks, before it’s too late.


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