Poverty – Is drawing the line a problem?

In recent times after a few encounters of news items regarding Below Poverty Line (BPL), something has been troubling me. What is the problem between the social groups interested in alleviating poverty, the planning commission, the rural ministry and others? It seems to me that the only issue that bothers them is – where to draw the BPL line? How is that going to improve policy making, reduce leakage of resources, and increase implementation effectiveness and efficiency.

I have heard number of times governments talk about giving away FREEBIES for the poor. But who actually gets them? I have heard remarks about people who have children working in the US and studying in Europe availing FREEBIES of the government only because the records still reflect that they are part of the poor or because the political party representative who was assigned to distribute the FREEBIES is known to them. Ridiculous – isn’t it? Yes it was to me as well!

But the debate is on since a long time about where to draw the BPL so that we can frame policies and ensure implementation and all related rubbish! Can government servants actually behave like ‘servants’ and serve the citizens of the country instead of finding ways and means of hoarding honest tax payers money to improve their own and family’s lifestyle.

As a firm believer in the ‘law of karma’ I strongly trust that the invisible hand will ensure that all the good and bad gets rewarded equally. One can’t net the good and the bad. If we really want to work on poverty alleviation and related social hazards, it is time we get to the bottom of the issue, understand them, pilot solutions, and review the performance. After all the government should also be responsible to measure its performance and showcase both success and failure.


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