Arun.prabhu wrote:Their lot has never been fair, but at least they had the opportunity to earn a meal. If the wage earner were hospitalized or died an untimely death - and so many of them do - the extended family and friends would lend a hand. I bore about a fifth of the marriage costs of a poor relative myself not too long ago. My wife was talking about giving some money to one of my relatives to tide things over a day or two back. But not all the poor have relatives who can spare or can find good samaritans. And with a lockdown, the extended family and friend network that supports them during a crisis is paralyzed.
Now who's being kind. Good on you.
As for economic stimulus, how much of it is going to reach the hands of the poor? I know of people who had to pay bribes to get the money from the funds the PM announced for poor people's homes. Getting money from the bureaucracy if you are poor is no small task. Getting money from the bureaucracy even if you are educated and well off is a pain. My father had choice words when I asked him why in hell I had to submit color photocopies of my pan card - front and back no less (what is there on the back the ****** world wonders) - as proof of legal heir of my dear departed mother.
I am sorry to hear about your mom. May she get moksha.
About the money part, the aim is to use Aadhar and a variety of measures to get cash directly to the jan dhan bank account. State to state, there are various cash transfers as well.
The point is, the lot of the poor is always one of hardship and little hope.
Things aren't as bad as we think they are either. In my state, the poor (quite a few of whom aren't) are getting tons of free rations (literally) - they keep some for home use. Sell the rest on the market for extra income. My cook offers us her rice, wheat flour every now and then as well. Its hilarious in an ironic kind of way but she can't understand why we won't take up the offer. The same in the rural areas. Most guys come to the city to work for few months for extra cash - cable TV, that new bike, son wants something etc, build a new house. The problem of everyday hunger is no longer widespread but there will be some people on the fringes who havent been able to access all this.
Also, the poorer states up north will not have this sort of setup in the remote districts. The Indian south, centre, west and north-east states have this well developed. UP and Bihar are getting there but judging by the folks who go to other states for work its still weak but Yogi/Nitish are extending support, Orissa, CG, Jharkhand have gaps in the remote areas. Also most folks are aware of (in my state) of Ayushman Bharat - have the free medical insurance, have all sorts of Govt stuff. Some of the local chaps have 3-4 medical insurances too. Then there's Modi's life insurance, pension plan, the free house loan, the gas-cylinder stuff.
Ironically, I find the salaried guys more near the poverty line than many of these contract workers. They are too proud to avail any of the above benefits or too clueless as they simply don't even consider the above.
As for the national calamity line, the lockdown is also a national calamity. I'd willingly pay the price if I were convinced the disease spread can be stopped, but I'm not. China just locked down another province in Henan today, btw. Reason: asymptomatic carriers - don't believe their tall lies about foreigners carrying the disease into china - and no herd immunity. As with China today, so will India in the months to come. Are we going to keep on locking down our economy over and over again? And to what purpose? Strangle the economy and destroy the hopes of our destitute and poor to fight a forlorn war? I'm sure the majority of folks here disagree with me, but I promise you, we'll see flareups until mass vaccinations are done or the disease gets out of the control and burns itself out after infecting a large percentage of the population.
A massive pandemic is something we simply cannot afford. Like I said our destitute and poor are capable of mostly accessing a very extensive network of food rations and services which we sometimes underestimate. State Govts aren't stupid. They want to get reelected and go to extreme lengths to provide free stuff.
OTOH - our medical infra will simply be unable to handle a pandemic if the curve isn't flattened. Due to a variety of reasons I have been around too many hospitals for the past few years and I can literally see the issues they face with our population burden and also the behavior of certain groups who take socially responsible behavior as some sort of joke.