‘I am poor’ tag to keep affluent from BPL cards

December 7th, 2009 - 5:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, Dec 7 (IANS) The Madhya Pradesh government plans to write “I am poor” on walls of houses of people with below poverty line (BPL) cards to discourage the non-deserving families from availing benefits of the scheme, officials said Monday.
An official of the food and civil supplies department said: “The department, in case it gets too many complaints of the well-off getting themselves included in the BPL list, would launch a door-to-door drive and write ‘I am poor’ on the walls of the houses of the BPL card holders. This is a last resort to force the non-deserving people to surrender their cards.”

Madhya Pradesh Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies Paras Jain said: “The government has been receiving several complaints that affluent people have managed to get BPL cards and were availing benefits and this was the reason fresh cards are being made.

“We will write the details of the BPL card holders in front of their houses as a last resort. This would embarrass the non-deserving people who would then surrender their cards,” the minister said.

On whether this move would humiliate the poor, the Minister asked: “Why would the poor mind it?”

However, the opposition Congress has condemned the move.

Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Jamuna Devi said the move was an insult to the poor.

“It would discriminate against the poor and also create rift between them and the rich,” she said.

“Will the government also get ‘I am rich’ written on the walls of houses of those who are above poverty line,” she wondered.

Congress State spokesperson K.K. Mishra also termed any such exercise as an attempt to mock the poor. He said instead of checking corruption in the system, the government was out to insult the poor.

In August this year, the Narsinghpur district administration had come in for flak for initiating a move to paint the walls of the economically poor and the poorest in blue and yellow colours respectively corresponding to the colours of the cards for the two categories of villagers.

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