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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Why can't we always help people to help themselves?

    After the disastrous "Gaja" cyclone, life in many fertile parts of Tamil Nadu has come to a grinding halt. All the food, water, and other essential commodities given by voluntary agencies are simply excellent. One does hope that such help extends and reaches the remotest of villages very badly affected.

    Still, there are very serious questions. For example, the great Superhero Rajnikant, whose net worth is some Rs.70,000 crores is so stingy when it comes to donating money and is absolutely no match to the legend called MGR who would reach every single spot of disaster, even when he was an actor and directly give his money to hundreds of people. Rajnikant's followers have done something and they have collected materials worth two crore rupees and given it to the poor. Our superhero, who wants to become Chief Minister, does not have the time to visit any affected area, till today!!!

    This brings us to more fundamental questions: can we not form trusts with such donations, and help the people to also have secondary sources of income, so that when everything is gone, they have something to fall back upon? For example, there is a huge demand for reasonably priced jute bags all over the world. The poorest of the poor can be easily trained by such trusts, which should be financed by voluntary donations from the rich. In this fashion, when there is some additional income, the havoc that happens to their lives in one way or the other can be minimized.

    Why can't we do this, Pan-India? The Master's Degree in Social Work (MSW) students, who specialize in community development, identify people who need support in terms of training and then systematically develop themselves?
  • #653980
    We need to go above politics & to think on the national perspective & everything would be settled then or else even after one or ten or more years we will continue to have the same problems & debates with someone coming & providing us with the solutions.

    Do you feel that this never existed fifty years back & if the same is the case then we are doing nothing new. We need to fire the bullet wherein the main problem exists.

  • #653994
    It is always better to provide a way to live rather-than providing food. That is what people should understand. But the government gives free sops to the people to get votes. This is in a way making the people lazy. But the situation you are bringing in is different. When there is a natural calamity, people look for immediate relief. Once they are out of the problem then the point you discussed will suit them best. The idea of providing a second source of income during normal life and the reserves available can be utilised for rehabilitation.
    always confident

  • #654009
    Donations are received during natural calamities and utilized for rehabilitation of the affected people. The secondary income that the author described in the thread is not properly understood. When the poorest of the poor do not have a steady primary source of income, how a secondary source is going to help them in that case is not clear.

    There are different government projects and also few of the NGOs training poor people to impart certain skills so that they can earn a livelihood, but lot more needs to be done. NGOs can be formed as trusts also and they are heavily dependent on donations to carry out different projects. The donations received from different organizations during natural calamities are kept in the relief fund and if any balance amount remains it is used further in times of distress.

    There is corruption in distributing reliefs also and whenever huge amounts are involved, the sharks interfere to use it for their own purpose. To properly develop all the sections of the society, our concerted efforts are required and then only there will be all-round development.

    I thank the author for reminding us that we all have a role to play for the development of the society.


    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #654014
    Yes Sir. There is indeed corruption even among the NGOs. However, there are excellent trusts that are doing the best service also, particularly to people who can't work anymore and possibly count their days before they vanish from the face of this earth. For example, the Sri Matha Trust, run by philanthropists from the Rajasthani Association in Chennai and the Kanchi Kamotti Peetam, has been helping very poor cancer patients to not only receive the treatment, but also food, water and shelter, and clothing. Some of them live on since there was an early deduction of cancer. Some of them who are not as lucky as these few, die after some time.

    Every pie is accounted for. The only way is to induct some socially minded honest but retired IAS officers who will happily render honorary service in such trusts. Of course, the training in skills that can be commercially exploited is a totally different cup of tea., I drew the reference to point out one very honest trust.

    We need hundreds of such trusts. Everything cannot be left to market forces. In one of my recent articles, I had talked about how the service sector is still able to make Tamil Nadu, one of the richest States, with the highest rate of urbanization, thanks to the best-organized bus transport in the country. The mobility of people who do trading in various agricultural items is simply superb. The economics that revolves around such mobility is still not understood by many.

    Be that as it may, one "Gaja" is enough to make people penniless. The vagaries of nature so devastating. Even to resume normal lives, and get back to their own ways of agriculture, each family would need at least three hundred thousand rupees. This is exactly where the donations need to pour in again and again and the skill development efforts need to be speeded up.

    I thank Sankalan Sir for highlighting the corruption involved. Even this time, there have been reports of the ruling party goons stopping vehicles of voluntary agencies and attempting to somehow put on each bag their own stickers, showing the faces of the most corrupted men in India. Alongside reasonably good education at all levels, very high rate of literacy and so on, we have thirty odd ministers who have swindled the State of all its resources to the tune of one lakh crore rupees. Most of this is in the public domain. This is one of the saddest stories of this State called Tamil Nadu. It is also very sad to hear how corruption is a way of life elsewhere too.

    Nevertheless, we still need to do something.

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