Social Safety Values
The foremost duty of every citizen and Governmental steps
It is the foremost duty of every citizen to do some good to his country in one or the other field.
If somebody takes interest in doing good to the people by taking part in certain welfare programmes that sort of step taken by him should be appreciated. It is not that only an individual can do good deeds. Sometimes, the steps taken by a state government for the welfare of the poor people are highly appreciable.
A silent social revolution
Programmes and packages for social welfare should also be arranged by all states across the country. Of course, a silent social revolution is taking place in India, but we also have to admit that “Delhi is a far cry.” But also we have to remind ourselves that “Rome was not built in a day.”
Most of the developed countries have great social safety valves which keep the citizens entirely tension-free as far as simple livelihood or bread and butter is concerned. Unfortunately, in India, such measures are lacking.
The Western countries, of course, being afraid of the rapidly spreading communism, had to resort to such social welfare measures as unemployment allowance, old age pension, brilliant student free ships, etc., and had to enhance substantially the provision from the national budget for raising the standard of education, improvement of people’s health, child and maternity care, improvement of the lot of the poor, housing problem, more attention to prisons, institutions, clubs, health centers, youths’ problems, etc. But whatever the occasion, the western countries have given great relief to the common man who can have a sound sleep with the assurance that and his children won’t have to go hungry, naked, and houseless whatever the circumstance in his life.
In India, we are virtually devoid of any social safety measures, though some schemes have been started. The Nehru Rojgar Yojna and the Prime Minister’s Rojgar Yojna are really useful schemes.
Scams – Several schemes for Dalits, farmers, students, weaker sections of society, widows, senior citizens, etc
There are schemes like the old-age pension scheme and the supply of wheat and rice at cheap rates to those below the poverty line. Such schemes are indeed, commendable. But, it is a pity that even in such cases, the agents, bookies, and touts gobble up the major amount and the money and goods meant for the poor and needy never reach the deserving ones. Large-scale scams regarding old-age pensions and others are being unearthed but the culprits are either not caught or hardly punished adequately, if at all. That is why we are witnessing scam after scam and there seems to be no end to scams and scandals. What a pity! This great country of ours “Our Bharat Mahan” has been turned into a land of scams and all that corruption carries in its train.
There are several schemes for the Dalits, the farmers, and the students. In Punjab and certain other states, some help in the form of a “Shagun,” etc. is given to the Dalit parents at the time of the marriage of their daughter. At the birth of a child, some money is given to a poor mother for diet and other expenses. In the matter of housing and installing flush latrines in their homes, financial help is provided to the Dalits by the government. The farmers are given free electricity in Punjab. The students can get easy loans at low rates of interest for pursuing studies in India and abroad.
Only a few influential people pocket most of the benefits
Similarly, there are other schemes. But the common man is not getting much benefit as yet. It is because of two main reasons. One, the help is inadequate. For example, a common man who knows no skill cannot get the benefit of starting a new venture by getting a loan, the major part of which has finally to be returned. Secondly, whatever help is even made available, is pocketed by a few influential people at the top by presenting bogus people as the needy ones.
Thus, we have still to go a long way in the matter of social welfare. We have to work hard bearing in mind the famous lines of the renowned American poet, Robert Frost:
“Woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”