‘Let’s empower underprivileged, but not at the cost of their dignity’
Srinagar, Oct 01: Senior Peoples Conference (PC) leader and MLA Kupwara Bashir Ahmed Dar on Sunday contradicted Rural Development Minister Abdul Haq Khan in a function organised by the RDD for the IAY beneficiaries. While Bashir Dar thanked the RDD department, he also strongly emphasised the need to do away with the practice of collecting beneficiaries for photo ops.
The incident took place at Kupwara when the IAY beneficiaries from different parts of district Kupwara were brought to Kupwara by the minister to announce financial assistance as per the centrally sponsored scheme IAY. “If the funds are transferred electronically to IAY beneficiaries, what is the need to herd these people like cattle. Our government is keen to empower the underprivileged, but not at the cost of their dignity.” Dar told KNS.
He said that it has been a despicable tradition for the last seventy years and NC has been at the forefront of such practices. In the meeting he very humbly requested the minister to be a change maker and stop this humiliating practice started by the NC. Dar further told the KNS that” IAY is a centrally sponsored scheme wherein assistance in the form of money is given to poorer sections of the society. If GOI has sent the money for them, our role as government is to facilitate and expedite it. He lamented that the assistance is usually delayed for pecuniary reasons, but we end up using these poor people for marketing.
“During elections our party had promised that we will never make people stand in a queue and distribute cheques neither will we ever have a caravan of officers following us. For PC it is an article of faith and we have adhered to it. You can ask the district administration, our Chairman has issued strict orders that no officer should follow him when is on a tour of the district. And in his department, the social welfare department, he has issued an order banning photographing of the beneficiaries. Dar said. When asked whether he contradicted the RDD minister. Dar replied that that was not the case and that the honourable RDD minister is an esteemed colleague and that he is not the one who has started this practice but can certainly help in ending it. That this practice is a humiliating experience is an unambiguous reality, Dar said. (KNS)