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Millennium Post

Above poverty line with Rs 33 per day in pocket? Think again...

The Planning Commission of India has recently said that a person earning Rs 33 per day is above poverty line and will not be entitled to get benefits meant for those from the below poverty line (BPL) category. But even at the capital, Rs 33 a day can buy little more than barely two meals.
The city government’s much hyped scheme for the poor, the Jan Aahar Yojana, provides subsidised food for Rs 15 per plate.

The scheme was launched in Delhi in June 2010 to provide hygienic and nutritious food to the poor and people from the low income group working in factories, shops and other establishments. The food served under this scheme has a prescribed standard of 1,000 calorie and consists of six pooris or four chapatis or 400 gm of cooked rice served with 200 gm of dal and sabji or rajmah or chhole. The scheme which was launched at seven centres in the city, is being currently implemented at 44 centres throughout Delhi by 12 NGOs.

Anyone availing of this scheme, will have to shell out Rs 30 per day for two meals. Which leaves one with nothing for shelter or other necessities.

And this rate of Rs 15 a meal is made possible after the Delhi government pays Rs 10 a plate as subsidy. 'The rate and standard of food was fixed in 2010, but the government has not increased it in the interest of the poor people,’ said a government official.

'This is the cheapest food available here, but the quantity too little and gradually shrinking,'said Mahmood, a daily wage worker near Anand Vihar bus station. NGOs providing the food also complained of incurring losses.

'It is not possible to maintain the standard at the price it is provided, but we are trying our best to match the quality and quantity norms despite the rising inflation in the past three years,' said a source on condition of anonymity.

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