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Rahul spoke about poverty of thought, clarifies host

The Dalit Resource Centre said what Rahul Gandhi had actually said was that “poverty comprises two elements: poverty of thought (garibi soch main hai) and poverty in material conditions, the latter manifesting in food, money, education and so on”.
By BK Singh | Hindustan Times, Allahbad
UPDATED ON AUG 07, 2013 12:16 PM IST

While Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s “poverty was a state of mind” comment kicked up a storm, Allahabad’s Dalit Resource Centre (DRC), where the statement was made at a function, issued a clarification on Tuesday.

The institute said what Rahul Gandhi had actually said was that “poverty comprises two elements: poverty of thought (garibi soch main hai) and poverty in material conditions, the latter manifesting in food, money, education and so on”.

Referring to experiences of women’s self help groups, Gandhi had said that “poverty of thought has to be overcome so as to achieve self confidence to voice, leading to politics of one’s own and a share in democracy and its institutions,” quoted the DRC communique while dubbing the misinterpretation as unfortunate.

“Irrespective of the charity doled out by the government, the poor will find it difficult to come out of the shackles of poverty as long as they don’t develop self-confidence. Any amount of largesse cannot eradicate poverty,” Rahul had said.

“What Rahul said is true. Despite several schemes to improve the standard of economically weak people, things haven’t change much,” said Satyabhama Misra, who runs an NGO for the poor in the Shankargarh belt.

“It is high time that the government stopped sanctioning money in schemes for the poor, as it hardly reaches them,” she added while suggesting that government should spend money in developing villages and infrastructure and create jobs that should be given first to the poor irrespective of their caste.

Alleging that many village pradhans have brought SUVs by misusing the MNREGA money, she stressed that it was high time that government devised some foolproof method to ensure that government schemes benefitted the poor man.

“A poor man with no money in his pocket cannot be selfconfident. Money is a big factor and the government should ensure that it reaches to only the deserving ones,” said Parvez Rizvi, who also works for the uplift of the downtrodden.

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