320. The Poverty Eradication Manifesto
Poverty Eradication is not impossible as long as there is a three pronged approach.
A will among the poor to come out of it, a belief in those who are not that they can help destroy poverty and an honest effort form the government to make it happen because it’s possible. I would recommend the following steps that each city/village undertakes in order to be able to accomplish before it is too late. The steps are under the three categories who have to contribute towards this great effort but before we get into the steps we need to understand the categories
The Poor – (My definition of poor would be people who are either single, married or part of families and have a per head household income of less than Rs 3000/- a month (excluding house rent if not living in own house); which means a family four living together and earning less than Rs 12,000/- in total per month would be extremely poor and those in the Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000 range would be poor. And those with no income at all would be the Have Nots and will need immediate attention and care.
STEPS a to c
a) The poor will need to embrace the free education available and free contraception available
b) The poor would need to plan families and not reproduce or opt for voluntary sterlisation – bringing an offspring into the world when one can’t afford a square meal should be considered a soft crime with compulsory paid physical labour for 4 years
c) The poor will need to make an honest effort to get out of poverty by reaching out to schemes from the government and the NGOs which will be possible through heightened awareness.
The Haves – (My definition of haves are any individual earning a steady of income of Rs 4000/- or more per month on an average per individual which means an annual income of R 1,80,000 for a family of four) We need to further categorise this into
1.Borderline Haves (Rs 4000 to Rs 9000 per head per month or upto Rs 4 lakh per household of upto four per year, assuming there is no home loan or house rental; The amount could be slightly higher if an outgo for housing exists)
2.Lower Middle Class Haves (Rs 9000 to Rs 20000 per month per head or upto Rs 8 lakh per household of upto four per year…)
And here’s the tipping point
3.Middle Class Haves (Rs 21000 to Rs 40000 per month per head or upto Rs Rs 20 lakh per household of upto four per year…)
4.Upper Middle Class (Rs 24 lakh to Rs 60 lakh per household per year)
5.Rich (Rs 60 lakh to Rs 1 crore per household per year)
6.Super Rich (Rs 1 crore to Rs 10 crore per household per year)
7.Ultra Rich (Rs 10 crore per household and upwards annually)
STEPS a to c
a) People in categories 3 to 7 need to be introduced to optional ways of supporting low income groups in cash or kind.
b) Austerity needs to be embraced for period of time until drastic reduction in poverty is observed and this needs to be seen in a toning down of personal celebrations, religious festivities and wasteful expenditure on luxuries.
c) A culture of philanthropy, generosity and charity needs to be introduced as a way of life
Lastly, governments and NGOs need to do their bit in a more transparent and clear cut manner
STEPS a to c
a) Strict implementation of Right to Education, Right to Food, Right to Shelter and Right to Healthcare
b) A solid population control policy including punishment for men that includes physical labour that is remunerated for reproducing beyond one’s means
c) A Feeding India campaign that does not let a single citizen go hungry with the support of NGOs