Painting Poverty

January 9, 2014

Government is bent upon irradiating poverty. This is a welcome step. Every government at regular intervals and now spontaneously goes on announcing whopping rewards or gifts, or call them schemes, to uproot poverty. The dream of great Gandhi is being realised!!! Everybody has suddenly become conscious of the drudgery of the poor people. Every political party has scores of welfare schemes for the poor. The schemes were initiated much before independence, they started to flood in the post-independence era and now in the modern period in every move there is a welfare scheme to eradicate poverty and to uplift the poor. The greatest irritation in my mind in the form of questions is; “When, if at all, will all the people of India become rich? If even after 66 years of independence we have not been able to eradicate poverty, will it be possible in the future?”

In my archives the second article I had written is resting in peace. If you remember, I had titled the article as “Government Bicycle”. This was the result of a novel idea that struck to the mind of the then CM Sri Yeddyurappa. Everyone felt happy. More than anyone the bicycle factory felt very happy. The bicycles were distributed to the girls, some of them knew to ride them, rode them for a month or two, they broke and they were parked in the places where they had to be. Those who couldn’t ride just handed them to their people at home or dusted it for one or two days where they were allowed to meet their sad end. I do not want to reproduce that article once again. But I want to show to you the photo of one such bicycle which never came out to the road even for a single ride.
If this is the sad tale of the bicycle “scam”, oh, sorry, correct me, “scheme”, there are other popular scheme of the same colour. All these schemes are not to eradicate poverty but to paint the poverty. May be I think these are schemes to make someone poor perennially. Needless to point out the political motivation behind them. One of the enchanting quotes which keeps on reverberating in my mind is; “Don’t give fish to the needy, instead teach him to fish.” How meaningful this quote is. For how many days can you give fish? Instead if you can provide the required artefacts to a person to catch the fish will he ever remain hungry or wait for the crumbs from others?

Our government is concentrating on the first strategy. Giving rice at the cost of one rupee per kilo gram is easier than providing the people with a piece of cultivating land. Providing milk to the children in the school is easier than providing the families with a cow which would give milk. Providing groceries and other things for the poor people is easier for the government than providing with a shelter, electricity, clean water to drink etc. I smell two things here. One, if a person who is poor becomes rich he becomes empowered and starts thinking independently and there is a fear of his shifting loyalty. Second, if you are not in the race continuously announcing these schemes a number of companies might have to draw the shutters, which is not a good sign in terms of economic development.

Once my father came back home from the market place with his eyes red, fuming fire from his nostrils. He could for some time neither speak nor rest. When my mother forced him to divulge the reason for his predicament he slowly opened up. In the market place somebody insulted him calling him a poor man. Nothing was wrong. Whole village knew he was poor. But when somebody called the same in the public, it was a humiliation. This is an old story. Nowadays I have seen persons who are well off, earning in thousands, standing in the queue, with the minister's recommendations in their hands outside the government office to be certified that their are poor! What an irony! The popular schemes of the government are responsible for this. Real poor people, just because they don’t have the address proof to produce, are deprived of these facilities. Many reservation schemes do not reach to the people who are really in need.

I do not want to prolong this argument. The person who gets rice for one rupee a kg doesn’t take it home. Instead he sells it for 10 or 15 rupee a kg. Why should he eat that substandard rice at all when he can earn four to five hundred rupees a day and his wife earns two to three hundred rupees a day. They can afford to cook biryani every day. But the poor person without a BPL card begs the government; “please give me something to eat, please give me water to drink, please provide me a shelter.” Government has no provision for such people. They will get a sari or some liquor or some money from one election to another.


Vincy, Pamboor Archives: 



By Vincent Alva (Vincy, Pamboor)
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Comment on this article

  • -ve fruits of democracy, KAUP

    Wed, Jan 15 2014

    India is a failed format of democracy, today all political parties are interested to bribe the masses by lucrative govt schemes and take the money from the government account and distribute freely to the so called undefined poor people, this is very difficult to prove that the money is utilized for the same project or not? and there is no proper accountability to the public or judiciary system for to ascertain the 100% implementation of the program, this is nothing but politicians looting the Government funds in the name of poor people, this is just as said by Vincent Alva, nothing painting the poverty for political benefits.

     India is to follow the thumb rule of socialistic democracy and make sure that every citizen of this great country at least get the basic facilities even after 67 years of our independence denied. We neglected our 70% of our population for such long period and 20% middle class people who try to meet their ends from the day they born, All the govts of India were portraying rest of 10% political influence people who control the 90% of our resources and economy to make every rule and regulation by the politicians to this rich class of India.

    Indian HAS TO SEE A GOOD STRONGE LEADER like Dubai, who dream big , do big and achieve big with honest affords and made this small country as role model to the rest of the world. As Chinese makes fun of democracy, saying no shelter , no food and no health only democracy to sleep bare stomach.

  • Suleman, Udupi

    Tue, Jan 14 2014

    Well narrated reality...thank you Mr. Vincy.

  • kurt waschnig, oldenburg germany

    Sun, Jan 12 2014

    Part 2: Can one imagine an India without corruption? A question hardly to answer. The AAP has the power to attract people from all walks of life and there are good chances to get an excellent result from the voters. Suddenly India has the chance to fight against corruption and to eradicate it.
    Sometimes dreams become true.

    Best regards

    Kurt Waschnig Oldenburg, Germany


  • kurt waschnig, oldenburg germany

    Sat, Jan 11 2014

    Up to now the eradication of poverty has not been taken seriously by any Indian Government. Seeing the poorest of the poor in India´s cities like Chennai, Kolkata etc. is gruesome. But suddenly there is hope in the air because of the Aam Aadmi Party and its determination to fight legally and peacefully against corruption in India.
    Socialism is an economic concept that calls for sharing the wealth. The AAP´s success is very surprising. The AAP has the potential to become a strong social democratic power in India. What I have heard and read about this young political party reminds me strongly of the term democratic socialism, in its purest sense, would mean a socialistic society that is under a democratic government. Both democracy and socialism are based on the ideal of equality. Democracy is a form of government in which the citizens participate, assisting to various degrees in governing themselves and that is a strong political demand of the AAP.
    Socialism is an economic concept that calls for sharing the wealth of a society among all of its members, rather than more wealth being held by some people than by others.
    What I find too in the political programme, if possible to talk about a final political programme of the AAP, is, people, who support the idea of democratic socialism typically believe that decisions in a society should be made by considering the needs of all of the people, not just the wealthy or powerful. This applies to economic and social decisions. Some important beliefs among democratic socialists are that resources and wealth should be used to benefit all members of a society and that economic institutions should be controlled and owned by people who are affected by them. They also typically believe in the ideal of all members of a society having a voice in the decisions that affect them. This stands in contrast with the communist form of socialism, in which an all-powerful government owns all the resources and industries, and decisions are made for the people instead of by them.
    A society living in a system of democratic socialism also would be committed to meet the needs of all its citizens. A wide variety of needs would be met through social programmes that are designed to benefit every citizen and ensure a high quality of life. Examples of such programmes include universal childcare, free or subsidised education, national healthcare systems that provide access for all and other social services. And under democratic socialism, the government usually is envisioned as being controlled by the citizens, with the primary goal of making decisions to benefit society as a whole.This democracy would be characterised by equality among people as well. There would be no preferential treatment for the rich or important, and members of the government would live like average citizens. In addition, there would be no discrimination on the basis of race, religion, economic status, gender or any other difference.
    Can one ima

  • ad, mangloor

    Sat, Jan 11 2014

    Scaming the schemes, e.g.: Lalu, by politicians is nice way to say we are fighting to eradicate poverty.
    India was rich in its riches once upon a time. Now india is being considered a developing nation because it is broadening its highways, building some sky scrappers, introducing crazy ID cards, etc.,etc.. but keeping the destitute poor and of course tracking so called benefits with Aadhaar cards. If the same amount of money spent on Aadhaar could have been put in employment for poor and destitute.
    In between, political message is, politicians try hard to eliminate poverty by giving handouts. Yes, hand outs not to eliminate poverty but to create a vote bank so that they stay in power.
    Poverty has been created by the wealthy and the government hand in hand. Wealthy reap from the have nots and government reaps from poor in vote bank politics.
    If the government wants to eliminate poverty , help to create jobs, tell the wealthy to create some savings plans for employees, give farmers incentives. what I am saying is share the wealth with the have nots, not by hand outs but to help them, helping themselves.

  • John DSouza, Mangalore

    Thu, Jan 09 2014

    Painting Poverty is a brilliant idea to protect, maintain and improve it (the poverty).
    Identifying and valuating the scams and schemes is the wisdom of the commentator.
    What are the workable and real solutions to eradicate poverty? Or is it possible at all?
    Don’t we see so many are leading lavish and comfortable life, by ill fate of poor people?
    The social evils are alcohol, drugs, tobacco, human trafficking, sickness, grudge and hatred
    Are they not making few rich, by destroying millions of families in the society and country?
    What is the real concern? Is it to eradicate poverty or to worsen the living of poor?
    Can massive production of academics and keeping them idle, eradicate poverty?
    Do we have any concern about the huge fuel consumption, costs and pollutions?
    Are we serious about solutions to our severe problems, to make a considerable change?
    Why we are carrying and moving the bullock carts, since the introduction of vehicle engine?
    Do you believe that if we pull and move the huge weight on wheels (instead of carrying and moving) can save a huge volume of fuel and billions of dollars, eliminate pollutions, drastically reduce costs and multiply the capacities of vehicles, to meet the increasing transport demand by rapidly growing volume of commuters and goods?
    The option is to have a peaceful society, stable economy and clean environment.
    The choice is blaming, criticism, comments OR the suitable achievement with solutions.

  • Alfred Vincent Monis, Bantakal/Kingdom of Bahrain

    Thu, Jan 09 2014

    Vincy, very good article.

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