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Poverty is a state of mind, says Rahul in Allahabad

Poverty is a state of mind, says Rahul in Allahabad
A statement, which could raise many eyebrows, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has criticised the regime of doles and subsidies and stated that to overcome poverty, the poor needed to have self-confidence. He was speaking at GB Pant Social Science Institute in Allahabad at a discussion organised by noted social scientist Badri Narayan. Incidentally, this institute has on faculty Jean Dreaze, who as member of the National Advisory Council masterminded the subsidy regime let loose by Congress-led UPA government.

Speaking at the function on Monday, Rahul Gandhi hailed the role of self-help groups in advancement of marginalised section of society. The Congress vice president said they provide the poor with ‘self-confidence to overcome poverty.’ The Congress leader made this comment while participating in a discourse on ‘Culture, Deepening Democracy and Most Marginalised Communities’, organised by noted social scientist Badri Narayan.

‘I understand the weaknesses of our system. I will try my best to help the people but unless and until the voice of the marginalised comes out from within, nothing can be done,’ Narayan quoted Gandhi as having said at the event. ‘Poverty is just a state of mind. It does not mean the scarcity of food, money or material things. If one possesses self-confidence, then one can overcome poverty,’ Gandhi is reported to have said.

In this context, Gandhi cited the example of a poor woman in Amethi, who redeemed her self-esteem by getting associated with self-help group Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana. The Congress vice president was accompanied by the party’s national general secretary Madhusudan Mistry and they duo used the opportunity to interact with people from remote villages of Allahabad and other neighbouring districts. He told the audience, ‘My one and only political aim is that I want to tune my ears to the voice of the poor and the marginalised.’
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