In quite an insensitive move, the Zila Parishad in Dausa district of Rajasthan has painted a message on the walls of homes of BPL beneficiaries that says, I am a poor person and I get food under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), according to news wire service ANI. CEO of Dausa Zila Parishad, Surendra Singh told ANI that the exercise was conducted to identify families that are Below the Poverty Line (BPL) and avail food under the NFSA scheme, Singh said ”We painted the message on houses of people who fall below the poverty line, we were instructed to do so”. Surendra added that he had the messages painted on the directions of the state government.
The National Food Security Act was enacted by the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government and provides the poorest families with 5 KG of grains at highly subsidised rates. 70 percent of the families in Dausa receive benefits under the NFSA, according to an NDTV report. ANI reported that villagers were told that they will be given Rs 750 if they allowed their homes to be marked by the Zila Parishad. A villager on whose wall the message was painted told ANI ”The officials painted on our walls, even when we asked them not to. We feel humiliated, the government is making fun of us”.
The Minister of Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Rajendra Singh Rathore told NDTV that the previous Ashok Gehlot led-Congress government had started the practice of writing BPL on the walls of poor families. He added that writing ‘I am poor’ on someone’s wall is absolutely wrong. The minister added that his ministry is looking into the matter.