Kerala to eradicate extreme poverty, local bodies to aid families in penury

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Palakkad: In a bid to eradicate penury local self-government bodies in Kerala will set aside funds in their annual plan for ensuring livelihood and subsistence of extremely poor families.

A recent survey carried out by the local bodies for the implementation of government schemes found 64,006 extremely poor families. Of these 43,850 are one-member families and such is the destitution of 1,735 families that they cannot even cook their own food.

Annual plan allocation

In the first phase a minimum of Rs 35,000 a year would be spent on a single-member family and Rs 75,000 for families with more than one member. The draft guidelines prepared by the local bodies for the annual plan says that grama panchayats should set aside Rs 10 lakh, municipalities Rs 20 lakh and corporations Rs 50 lakh for this purpose.

The block panchayats would set aside Rs 15 lakh and district panchayats Rs 2 crore in their annual plan to provide allocation to the grama panchayats.

If required more funds would be sanctioned later based on the micro plans being prepared for the families. The allocation in annual plan would be found by including it in various categories including scheduled caste development, basic development and social welfare.

The money would be set aside in the forthcoming annual plans.

The grama panchayats would utilise the money based on the micro plans prepared with the assistance of Kudumbasree. The plan preparation will be completed by next month.

The plan would be given shape based on the circumstances of each family. Priority will be given to one-member families, said Dr Joy Elamon, the director of Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA).

The problems faced by those who cannot cook food despite getting ration at home, those who are not able to move out of their house even for personal needs, those who are struggling in their daily lives without assistance from others, are complicated and different.

Extreme poverty

Extreme poverty is "a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information", states the United Nations (UN).

Extreme poverty is also called deep poverty, abject poverty, absolute poverty, destitution, or penury. It is the most severe type of poverty.

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