Daily Satire: Thats India for You

BPL Card   Daily Satire: Thats India for You

 India as a country is full of satire due to its cultural practices. When it involves working practices by government officials, things become more and more laughable, however sometimes you feel pity on the conduct.

In India, government has set the poverty benchmark to identify people and family requiring government aid and assistance. Planning Commission of India has decided that if anyone is spending more than $17.73 per month in urban India and $14.35 per month in rural India will not be considered as poor. Therefore to such families falling inside the above mentioned criteria, a Below Poverty Line (BPL) card is issued so that they can purchase subsidized grains from ration. What that card shows that you are a person with no employment and/or with a meager or no source of income to support themselves or their family.

Due to abundant corruption, many valid people are not able to get BPL card. Public servants working at issuing authority, most of the time demands money to issue a BPL card due to which many families are denied from government subsidies. In Odhisa state of India, an MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly) from the regional party 'Biju Janta Dal,' Soren, who zips around in a $40,000 SUV was issued a BPL card by the authorities and is a BPL cardholder from 1997. Such has been the irresponsibility of authorities that his wife and his two daughters were also listed under the same card number. Asked about the SUV he said he loaned it after becoming MLA. We hope that one day he would reveal the bank’s name, which financed a person with a capacity to spend money less than $17.73 per month. Many people are waiting around the India to cash in such scheme.

The information came out through an RTI (Right to Information) application. Soren was member of the District Board before becoming MLA. When asked about the matter he replied in a typical politician manner, "Dealer might be procuring items by keeping the card under his name. I have not received any such card. I was a resident of ward-2 till 2006. But I have shifted to Bodsingaria. It's strange how we are reflected on BPL list. Some erring officials and dealers are perhaps running a racket."

However, authorities say that they never issued any such card, "We prepare cards according to the list NAC sends us. The cards record the date and quantity of rice, wheat, kerosene and sugar procured by the beneficiaries under the public distribution system. I have to verify if the MLA's card has been used to procure the PDS items."

Whether it is an error from the authority’s side or from the side of MLA, but in India there has to be some kind of black marketing going around behind the scenes with such mischief. The needy and weak is always denied their right while the powerful exploits the system for their selfish benefits. This is not a first of its kind of incident; these puny acts are going around the whole country.
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