RSS gen secy Hosabale voices concern over poverty and inequality
Referring to the statistics about poverty and inequality, RSS general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale said, “…That 20 crore people are below the poverty line is a painful statistic for us. I was looking at another set of data…there are 23 crore people who earn less than ₹375 a day."
Expressing concern that over 200 million people still live below the poverty line in the country, RSS general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale said on Sunday there is a need for a sharpened and decentralised policy to fight the “demon-like challenges” of poverty and inequality.
Speaking at an event organised by Swadeshi Jagran Manch, Hosabale said though India in the recent past has made progress, the challenge of poverty and inequality persists.
“The country has made a concerted effort to stand on its own feet, which has been appreciated worldwide. Today India is counted as the sixth largest economy. On the one hand, India is making progress in the economic field, yet there are many challenges we need to overcome and find solutions to problems.“ he said.
Referring to the statistics about poverty and inequality, he said, “…That 20 crore people are below the poverty line is a painful statistic for us. I was looking at another set of data…there are 23 crore people who earn less than ₹375 a day. The condition has improved while ten years ago about 22% were poor, now only 18% are poor,” he said.
On the issue of migration for economic reasons and the lack of jobs in villages, the RSS leader said the labour force survey shows an unemployment rate of 7.6%, and there is a need to change the mindset about jobs. He said, all jobs need to be treated with respect, and the mindset that only white collared jobs are respectable needs to change.
“Skill training cannot only be urban-oriented, but it has to take care of those in rural areas skills also. You think only white-collar jobs are respectable in society. But hard work-oriented jobs are also important, and there should be respect for all kinds of jobs. No one should be considered big or small. Is it possible to only become officials and entrepreneurs, do we not need hard-working people…we need to change the mindset,” he said.
The RSS and its affiliates have been pushing the government to revisit its economic policies and stress on indigenous, enhancing domestic production and cutting down on imports to give a fillip to local trade and manufacturing.
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While he criticised the economic policies followed during the previous decades, the RSS leader said the progress made by India in recent times has not only made it self-reliant but also allowed the county to offer help to those in need.
“There was a time in India when we were dependent on other countries for our food requirements. Today we are no longer in the same position but are self-reliant and able to help those countries in our neighbourhood, such as Sri Lanka that has faced difficulties,” he said.
Referring to the government’s push for self-reliance, Hosabale said there is a need to encourage local resources, materials and talent.