In one of the most incredible stories to break out this year, it has been reported that a BPL household in Bihar has actually managed to come out of poverty with the aid of various social sector and poverty alleviation schemes of the Union and State governments.
Dablu Kumar, a BPL card-holder from Chikni Dumaria village in North East Bihar’s Araria district, claims to have received all the promised benefits from various schemes such as 35kg of subsidized grain through PDS, 100 days work under MNREGA, free housing under Indira Awaaz Yojana, in addition to services such as free health care under NRHM and free elementary education under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan for his children.
If Dablu’s claim is true, it implies that the government managed to transfer annual benefits in excess of Rs. 50,000 to his family, thereby enabling his family to stay well out of poverty. “I must say, these sarkari babus have been very professional and service oriented. I have no complaints. Who says social democracy works only in Norway! It has worked for me too,” he told our Bihari rural affairs correspondent, Arun Ojha, who nearly fainted in shock from feeling Dablu’s exuberance and positive attitude.
The Government has ordered an inquiry into how Dablu managed to receive 100% of his entitlements without any leakages through the delivery chain all these years. “I can’t believe that we actually managed to pull a household out of poverty with our grandiose schemes, man. WTF!” exclaimed Minister for Rural Development, Jairam Ramesh.
The local District Collector has promised to get to the bottom of this intriguing matter. “How could all the benefits leak out to him right under our nose? I’ve ordered all the Block Development Officers to submit a performance audit of the schemes that Mr. Dablu Kumar benefited from so that we can fix the loopholes in the system pronto,” said a visibly upset Araria District Collector, Manish Kumar. Member of Parliament from Araria, Babu Singh, dismissed the story as too outlandish, too freaky to be true.
Policy mavens contend that the curious case of Dablu Kumar may be a statistical outlier. “With the Government spending lakhs of crores every year on social sector schemes for over 10 crore BPL households, it is plausible that at least one of them may have permanently come out of poverty. So I would pass it off as a statistical artifact and not read too much into it,” observed famous development economist, Dr. Vudu Sen.