Elusive Schemes

For many of India’s most marginalised communities, Government schemes that are meant to provide economic support are elusive dreams. They know schemes exist, they find no way of accessing them. In Bajrangbali Nagar, Munger District Bihar this is what 150 people faced. Community Correspondent Sheela Sheikh reports from the village.

Of the 300 people in the small hamlet, 150 did not have their Below Poverty Line (BPL) cards. BPL cards are the most important assets for these individuals. It makes them eligible for government schemes like access to food grains, subsidies, housing, etc. Their limited avenues of income make these schemes a necessity.

In many communities in Bihar, remnants of the economic havoc caused in the 1990s during the corrupt rule of Lalu Prasad Yadav, continue to make them vulnerable to poverty. The local administration’s ineptness only adds to their misery. Satyanarayan Mandal, a resident of Bajrangbali explains:

“How do we talk about (not getting benefits) to our Village Head? He keeps misleading us. His usual response is ‘this can’t be done, or go there, do that… What help can we take from an ignoramus?”

For many like Kamaleswari Mandal, this situation has persisted for a lifetime. It came to a point that people had to choose between running around different government offices and going out to earn a living. Most gave up.

Once Sheela made this video and recorded testimonies from the people affected, she was able to ensure that 150 people got their BPL cards. So watch out for the Impact video to see how it all happened.

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