Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has charted a set of guidelines to eradicate extreme poverty in the State in four years.
The guidelines were formulated for local bodies after a survey found 64,006 families in extreme poverty in the State. The guidelines envisage raising additional funds through sponsorship for micro-level poverty alleviation plans.
To fund micro-level plans, panchayats, municipalities and corporations should earmark Rs 5 lakh, Rs 10 lakh and Rs 15 lakh, respectively, for the extreme poverty eradication sub-project from the general development fund. Block and district panchayats, too, should contribute their share to the project.
The guidelines also directed to convene meetings with the representatives of corporate houses, banks, including those in the cooperative sector, merchants, industrialists, non-resident Indians, voluntary organisations, and others willing to contribute at local body-level to raise funds for the projects.
The scheme will be rolled out with the help of Kudumbashree Mission under the supervision and responsibility of the local bodies concerned. Of the total 64,006 extremely poor families, 43,850 are single-member families.
Extreme poverty was determined based on four factors: food, safe shelter, basic income, and health condition. The extreme poverty eradication plan has been divided into three phases, service schemes that could be immediately implemented, short- and long-term schemes.
Service schemes that could be immediately implemented include the provision for cooked food, providing food to those without permanent residence, support of volunteers and 'ayalkoottams' (neighbourhood collectives) to those who cannot feed themselves, ensuring rations card, voters' ID card, Aadhaar card, certificates for the differently-abled, social security pensions, connecting those needy with organisations providing palliative care, mental and physical medical care, and caretakers wherever necessary.
This includes ensuring nutritious food, rehabilitating vagabonds, providing food kits through sponsorships, extending the government's healthcare schemes, providing equipment such as crutches, wheelchairs, etc, including them in housing schemes, providing temporary shelter, carrying out maintenance works of houses, constructing toilets, and providing drinking water and power connections.
Long-term plans envisage rehabilitation after mental health treatment, houses for the landless and homeless, ensuring access to houses, opening up of opportunities for continuing education based on their qualification, rehabilitation of those living under difficult and precarious conditions, and ensuring livelihood at homes based on their capabilities and skills.