Any meaningful development strategy must start with girl-child
Centric programmes. World Bank reports on anti-poverty measures, urbanisation etc
There are many new things to learn fro Indians
The World Bank’s latest report, titled “Moving out of Poverty: Success from the Bottom Up “makes interesting reading.
For Indians this must not be news but for the typical Indian mindset, accustomed to look for the government for everything, from mere security to livelihood, government jobs and much else, Indians have a heavy luggage of the British rule, or call it oppression or suppression of our rights and even our souls!
Yes, the British legacy of making us a very dependent people, a people who have never experienced what was freedom or living with a sense of independence, the World Report makes for a sad reading, if at all.
So, we have to read through to learn what we have to do these days, even today, the government in Delhi plays the role of a protector of the poor and never imagines that the people can prosper on their own initiatives!
The Bank lists to three initiatives that helped people to lift themselves out of poverty.
All the top three steps were non-agricultural. That is the lesson here too!
What the typical Indian poor do?
They just look for daily labour under any one of the government schemes for anti-poverty.
Not here. We learn that finding a job outside agriculture, investing in a business, just petty business to something more substantial; to migration to the urban areas constitute 60.1 per cent of the respondents. Individual initiatives in agriculture, typically, it looks that just 17.4 per cent attempted and saving, called asset accumulation only 4.7 per cent managed to engage and succeed.
At the bottom of the three segments, consist of depending upon assistance from NGOs and such non-formal and unofficial segments of society help. Or, we can call these attempts as plain charities! Illegal activities, yes, these activities too help!).1 per cent resort to these activities! Lottery or seeking luck also engages the minds of people! Yes, they are put in bracket, as 0.0 percent!
The study rightly observes:”Charity oriented and other paternalistic programmes or handouts from the government or from corporates or some such big organisations and associations also play a role in poverty-reduction!
The study notes that such voluntary help doesn’t help people in the long run; they are temporary or at best in the short run.
To life the entire community or a nation, we need, says the report, other and more realistic schemes and programmes.
Yes, in the 70s, says the report, there was widespread poverty globally. Now, according to the World Development Report, 2008, more than one fourth of the world poor are still there and this figure demands now we need for realistic programmes to tackle poverty in a sustained manner.
But the World Bank study, the latest one, is rather very piecemeal and doesn’t suggest anything that is really based on sound observation or sound reasoning.
For one thing, in a country like India, at this stage of our development, we see the rather election-oriented populist anti-poverty programmes, mainly in the nature of many freebies, free or subsidised rice of such a minim for every family, or free education to many such free offering even such a promise like paying the girl child when she reaches age 18 a sum of Rs.1 lakh.
Yes, such election-driven promises and handouts help in a democratic setup, as big as in India and what makes sense in India must make more sense in smaller countries and smaller economies.
Today, from the point of view of anti-poverty programmes and also anti-oppressive and suppressive social realities, any bottom-up development must start with the girl child as the starting point.
A girl-child centric development in whatever form, of course education must come first, and then must come such anti-schemes like anti-child labour abolition and also giving security to the girl-child at every stage of her schooling and marriage and such acts like the prevention of child marriages and other schemes like anti-dowry and anti-domestic violence etc.