Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Direct cash transfer is a safety net for poverty

The media and politicians were lampooned on direct cash transfer scheme which was incorporated in Telugudesam party’s manifesto in 2009 assembly elections and political rivals make this scheme as controversial and named Mr. Chandra babu Naidu as ALL FREE BABU. Honestly speaking, I too failed to understand the scheme that direct cash transfer to the poor make the poor become lazy and refuse to work if they get cash for doing nothing. I realized my thoughts were short and the small amount make a lot of difference in their economic lives.

Indeed this is an innovative social policy, it has been in practice from past six years in South American and African countries and some international aid organizations also implementing the same. Providing welfare and social security is the state’s responsibility and the governments have to design the development paradigms to poor people. Economic reforms and liberalization policies are serving their part to eradicate poverty but the change takes lot of time, in the meanwhile welfare schemes are necessary to reduce the pressure on poor and the National rural employment guarantee scheme is the best example for such kind of schemes.

Direct cash transfer to poor households is not like a donation or aid or sanctity or the government is not going to throw the money at crossroads or money is not distributed as handbills. It’s a kind of social security program, identifying the social class and pick the responsible person in the family (mostly homemakers) and transferring the money through banks in certain intervals. It’s a kind of investment to the poor people to support themselves, end to poverty. They can buy good protein based food, can buy medicines, they can send their children to school, they may invest and generate income and small farmers can buy fertilizers or seeds and so on…

In developed countries most of the people are working class, employers or government will deduct the some portion of the amount in their earning and the same will be distributed as social grant. But in developing countries most of the people are working in unorganized sectors and agriculture, they are poor and middle class people, eventually they don’t have choice to get the social grants from their earnings. So governments have responsibility to allocate some money for the welfare of economically poor sections.

According the millennium development goals, reasonable standard of living is became a basic human right and the governments have been working on that direction through reforms or welfare schemes. In developing countries like India, it’s too burden to implement social security grants but eliminating the poverty is our priority. Spending on health, education, infrastructure is important but people need money to access those facilities, so there is a need of social grants for poor.

Poor people are also partial responsible for their own poverty, they should to come out from their dearth and need to improve their standard of living. Ofcourse the welfare schemes are inevitable to reduce the poverty and direct cash transfer is the best among them. I don’t think the little money don’t make the poor people lazy and reluctant to work, everybody has desire to well being and respected, they know how to manage this little money wisely and creatively. Thus, direct money transfer is better for poor, it will help the poor to keep away from their poverty and to lead a gentle life.