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The poor fight to stay on BPL list

By Sudarshan Chhotoray

The BPL survey 2011 and its inclusion/exclusion criteria has serious repercussions for India’s poor. The very BPL card that helped a person build a house under the Indira Awas Yojana will now see him excluded for owning a pucca house; the phone booth granted to the disabled will now see them excluded for owning a fixed phone line; a basic outboard motor on a fishing boat will knock a poor fisherman off the BPL list


MGNREGA performs poorly in poverty-stricken Orissa

By Pradeep Baisakh

The MGNREGS is particularly relevant in states such as Orissa, where different estimates put the number of poor at 48% to 84%. But while Rajasthan provided 74% of eligible families with work in 2009-10 and Andhra Pradesh 52.6%, Orissa provided work to only 24% of eligible families. No wonder there’s been a 116% increase in rural migration


A roof for the homeless

By Kathyayini Chamaraj

Karnataka has come up with a draft housing policy which, while recognising housing as a need, does not recognise it as a ‘right’. Moreover, only 10% of the housing is for the socially and economically weaker sections, and the government has positioned itself as a ‘facilitator’ rather than as a ‘provider’, with the stated objective of involving the private sector


Tripura's tribal angst

By B Jayant Kumar

In Tripura’s tribal areas, political parties are demanding greater autonomy for the tribal council. But for most people who have no clean drinking water, depleting food stocks, and no employment, more development, not more autonomy, is a key requirement


Fantasies amidst the shanties

Slumdog Millionaire has been critiqued by many in India as poverty porn and slum tourism. But it does touch lightly on many themes that should rightly resonate through a country that misses no opportunity to showcase itself as the new participant at the high table of global dominance, says Pamela Philipose


How safe are NREGS wage payments through banks and post offices?

By Pradeep Baisakh

When the government decreed that all payments to beneficiaries under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act would be made through banks and post offices it thought it had plugged the leaks in the system. But bank accounts too can be manipulated, as a social audit carried out in Karon block in Jharkhand state showed


Dilli hamari bhi hai

By Madhu Gurung

There are over 100,000 homeless people living in Delhi. Only 7,000 of them can be accommodated at the capital's shelters for the homeless. Of the 19 shelters in the city, nine are operated by Aashray Adhikar Abhiyan


Northeast of Eden

By Darryl D'Monte

India chooses to showcase the northeast as an exotic tourist destination of great natural beauty. Several documentaries at a recent environmental film festival in Guwahati showed it as a neglected corner of the country, with gaunt tribals and civil and political unrest


'Fixing' the Vidarbha BPL list

By Aparna Pallavi

Around 250,000 families have protested against the rigging of the below poverty line (BPL) lists in Maharashtra's Vidarbha districts, which are in the grip of a severe agricultural crisis, and where inclusion in the list is essential for the poor to access their entitlements


NREGA: Challenges in implementation

By Tanushree Sood

Seven months into India's ambitious National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, guaranteeing 100 days of employment a year to every rural household in 200 districts, several problems of implementation are being reported from the field