A Comprehensive Plan Needed to Combat Poverty in Bihar

The caste census results in Bihar have officially brought to the fore the seriousness of the  extent of deprivation and poverty in Bihar which anyway was a well known fact. The Chief Minister has declared a sum of Rs. two lakh for every poor family which is a welcome step, but at the same time this will not alleviate poverty which needs a comprehensive work plan to be made and implemented with all seriousness. 

Kunal, Bihar state secretary of CPIML, said more than 34 percent families in the state live below poverty line owing to many factors which require a total review of existing policy framework. The majority of the population is dependent on agriculture which is a consistent loss making venture now. Add to this the neglect of sharecropper farmers who make the majority among farming communities and are devoid of any legal recognition as farmers. This plight must be changed immediately. Earlier when BJP was part of the government this issue deliberately remained neglected by the government. Now amends must be made without delay. 

The demand for special status for Bihar has been a popular demand since the state was bifurcated, but the BJP made this issue a mockery when it was in the government in the last many years. Even a package that was declared just before the Assembly elections in 2015 by Narendra Modi was not delivered. To add to the woes of the people of the state the Modi government is now curtailing the allocation under MNREGA slowly killing this important life saving scheme for millions. The Scheme workers in the state do not receive even minimum wage rates and dignified work conditions. When BJP was in the ruling alliance in the state, the centre decreased funds in many welfare schemes further throwing Bihar deeper into the vicious cycle of poverty and unemployment. 

Now is the time proper to correct these mistakes by implementing agrarian reforms, land reforms simultaneously with the development of industries in the state, said comrade Kunal. The state government must rely on the agriculture potential and encourage agro-based industries which in turn will be a guarantee for better employment opportunities for the youth. 

Kunal also added that a permanent solution is needed for the problem of perennial drought and flood menace. 

These measures will certainly lift Bihar from the list of poor states, he said. He also expressed concern for deleting 2.3 million names of children from the schools. Those were mostly from dalit and very poor background. Such measures will not improve the state of education in the state, instead the government needs to find out the root causes behind low presence of kids in schools and resolve those issues with priority.