Lending hands to someone is better than giving a dole

While moving through the narrow lanes in the small village of Korba in Uttar Pradesh, the sight of youth sitting idle at home, who at this time should have been either studying or doing  a job, was worrisome. Under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act(MGNREGA), people who didn’t get job for the whole 100 days got “free allowances”, which made their slothful and indolent, reluctant to find job, study or increase their skill. Clearly,this scheme wasn’t actually lending a hand, but was actually proving to be a dole.

Let’s try to comprehend the meaning of this statement. “Lending hands” in literal sense is supporting someone. This support may be in the form of consoling wordsimplementation of schemes on ground level, instilling faith by providing basics (education and health),empowerment,humanitarian support and technical assistance. The second part of the statement says “better than giving a dole”. Dole here means “grant“, an “allowance” or a “benefit” being transferred basically understood in economic terms. The following write-up will find an interconnection between the two statements, and look for different aspects including economy.

First,let’s try to look into history about how this statement holds water. Despite the plight that the Women and Dalits had to face in the Indian society, Gandhi made sure they participated in Non Cooperation Movements. This idea evolved not only by announcing the fight against the colonists, but by making sure women and dalits were accepted by the majority. The impetus to national feeling wasn’t evolved as a dole(for free), but it took Gandhi’s helping hand to invoke that feeling in them.He himself did the works of the harijans and fought for the rights of women.

After independence, reservation was provided for a period of 10 years on the premise that the dalits had suffered years of  injustice, grief and dejection. But little focus was given on empowering them. Result? Reservation still continues, not for the betterment, but for vote-bank politics.

In the present national context, while the 14th Finance Commission recommended for the devolution of power and revenue to the state government, the other necessary budgetary allotments like for health and education along with maintenance of biodiversity was cut to eliminate duplication of efforts and hence putting oil in the fire already burning. But what the GOI forgot was that most of these benefits needed an expertise. Teacher training, capacity building and opening  new government colleges for future doctors, necessary recruitment for the trained teachers was their work, they have been failing in these.The solution lies in the problem itself.

Apparently, India’s poverty index is calculated on a very narrow basis i.e the family income. While it may be one of the basic parameters, it doesn’t count the people who are “extremely poor”, those who can’t even think of earning because of their infallibility to move, due to social depreciation or due to low confidence. We call this strata the “pauperists”. What did the government do? They went for Public Distribution system. This effort of the government, though a welcome step, proliferated the infallibility of the poor to come out of misery, because now they were getting food without working for it. Can we think of eliminating pauperism merely by giving them food, or instead instilling confidence in them?

Apparently,the government is focusing on Direct Benefit Transfer(DBT). Although a good step, it may be utilized by households for non-food purposes and end result will be adding to malnutrition. Increased responsibility towards health, higher education and marriage of a girl and hence dowry eliminates the basic idea behind DBT, it is instead pushing people towards more miseries and more debt traps. The solution lies in changing the mindset of sahukars, and not merely giving money to the poor. Dalit Capitalism is on a rise and Dalit India Chamber of Commerce and Industry is focusing on Dalit entrepreneurship to socially uplift them and pave a way to end caste discrimination.

Thankfully, there has been a paradigm shift in the thinking of government and now it focuses more on making “job befactors” rather than “job appellants”.The coming up of SETU, Start up and Stand Up India has enabled this. Government is now focusing on research and technology driven start-up’s and hence working on giving an enabling environment for these and also techno-financial benefits and incubation centers are being started. But the solution isn’t only about giving these “benefits” but making sure the funds are actually allotted, there are no bottlenecks and there is a commissioner in place to look for the loopholes in the system.

Moving on, nowadays there has been a rising fudge about how women have been denied cultural rights and how they are not allowed to enter the temple to offer the praying to the deities. The constitution, although under Article 15 calls for the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of gender, and Articles 25-28 talk of right to freedom of religion and its practices, they are denied equal rights. Why this discrimination that too in a country where women is worshiped as Durga and Kali? The solution is not in giving provision in the articles under the constitution, or setting up of National and state commissions, but the solution is in changing the “mindset” of the people, so as to make sure patriarchy is uprooted.

How can this be done? Many recent surveys reveal that as the inclusion of women into the Panchayati Raj Institutions increased, there was a steep decline in the cases adjoining domestic violence, alcoholism, dowry and child marriages went down. So, empowering women is a solution. The same goes for the menace of child labor. Although various laws in place to eradicate child slavery, the real solution is in providing education to the children and maybe some pension schemes for the families who are forced to send their children to work for living.

Moving on,at the Banking level, Priority Sector Lending quota is a way to penetrate the financial support by the banks to the rural areas, but banks shift it towards NABARD and SIDBI to reduce risks.So basically, there is an enabled provision but their but no ground implementation. Similarly, Indira Awas Yojana aims at free housing for the poor, but their is corruption in allotment processes,lobbying issues.So lot of poor become mere pavement dwellers. They want to make smart cities but they don’t want poor to reside there.

For coping with the aftermaths of disasters, National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) was made and various agencies took power. Funds allotment took place at various level. But no nodal agencies was made which could integrate the works of the various departments, which leads to duplication of efforts, leakages and delays in field work. Also, much of the amount is spent on post-crisis management, the bulk expenditure of which could have been used for better plan of basic reduction risk infrastructure. The solution lies in a better framework for technical assistance to prevent the disasters instead of focusing on mitigation.

For curbing corruption, a legal framework was made and acts like Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) was enacted. But instead of just giving the PCA, enforcement procedure needs to be focused on. Even though there is a code of conduct of various government official levels, but there has been no commission officer in place to punish the wrong-doers. So even though means is provided, the “helping hand”( in this case a commissioner from the house of legislature) isn’t provided.

Internationally, there is a focus more on “long term investments”, on “soft loans” rather than donations. Japan’s assistance to India with a soft loan worth a $100 Billion to build the Bullet, or be USA’s assistance to Vietnam and China’s building of Chabadar port in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(POK), isn’t merely a “dole” but a “helping hand” by giving technical assistance and “special status” for trade too, though with a more focused motive of long term interest.

Similarly, during the earthquakes in Nepal, India was one of the first countries to provide the relief funds and the Indian Army was the first to give assistance for evacuation and rescue operations. Was monetary help the only way for showing out empathy for the misshaping? No. Apparently, the humanitarian support that was provided by Indian Army was much appreciated both by Nepal and around the world. Mere dole wouldn’t have increased this reputation of India.

Thus, we saw that the solution doesn’t merely lie in allotting funds for a particular work, but it has a social, humanitarian and political motive that needs to be connected too. The solution isn’t merely giving money, the solution is finding a long term measure. The government shouldn’t merely be focusing on how “laws” are made, but how they are “implemented”, not on how much “money” is given, but how they “earn” it themselves, not on how “reservation” should empower, but on how “instilling faith” would help us eliminate the menace due to reservation, not on how they get the “free money”, but on how they “give money” to others.



Philosophy Tuber

  • Dear brother!! (:
    Nice intro, articles mentioned are unnecessary i guess!
    Well, i’ll copy ur 2nd para!! 😀
    Bhai, brilliant yaar but “SIDBI” wala part i’ll ignore!
    Rest everything seems fine! Infact, awesome! I learnt a lot from your essays! 🙂
    Nothing critical this time bhai! I don’t feel anything wrong!
    All the best :):):):)

  • another wonderful piece joker 😀
    multidimensional and holistic
    no critics at all 😀

  • kant

    Nice one.
    – Intro start is good but doesnt convey the theme of the essay. It either means that there is laxity in administration or the labourers need help. But, it doesnt talk how lending hands is better than giving a dole. You can insert one apporpirate line here for the same.
    – “To move on with the essay topic” can be avoided. I guess, you have moved to the topic from the beginning of the intro.
    – good explaination of the terms
    – in point regarding Gandhi and women, dalits; tell in the beginning itself that Gandhiji didnt give money/any dole for their empowerment but gave moral support. this helps the reader to know where you are taking him/her.
    The best strategy for putting any argument is
    – Argument
    -explain the argument
    -example, fact, testimonial
    – in reservation wala point: saying “But little focus was given on empowering them” would be wrong. You can say that there are many scholarships and other monetary benefits but little has been done to fight the discrimination. This way you will be connecting to the theme. Every argument has to be in line with the theme. Here you are ending with vote bank politics. You can end with above sentence given by me.
    – Good point of 14th FC
    – In point regarding PDS: your argument is that “sometimes the dole creates dependence”, mention it in the beginning itself, you are explaining it beautifully later. In every para reader wants to know what you are writing there. Once this is clarified the good explanation satisfies the reader.
    – Dalit and DBT wala point is the proper structure im talking about. nice
    -Good conclusion

    I know im too critical this time but also know that you love it 🙂

    • Hey brother! Thanks for being critical 😀

      In my intro, the dole was the assistance in the form of “right to work”, the dole here. U see dole cannot just be taken as monetary assistance. It can be a “benefit” as such. “Lending hand” was the “implementation” of the act which was flawed. But I’ll try to make it more understandable.

      Critics taken, will improve next time 😀

      Link de de bhai apne essay ka, I didn’t get

      • kant

        I think “right to work” would be lending a hand but giving unemployment bonus would be giving a dole. I think giving a dole necessarily means giving material help( food, house or money) and lending a hand means helping them earn these material/monetary + non monetary things.

  • hello,
    this is jaya swatantra from insights… very nice … you did complete justice with the topic… i took so many points from your essay…if possible please review although i came to know my blunders…. All the best!!

  • 1.jump was not segue from first para to next..as after story u started analysing the meaning of phrase…dont worry my essay has so many such jumps today :p..u are better positioned.
    2 .Gandhiji was having some reservations regarding the participation of women in non-cooperation movement i think…his followers persuaded him to let them participate
    3.pauperists..took from today’s editorial na..smart boy
    4.best part of ur essay was that u criticised something and the u had solution..which showed how lending hands can help…good
    5.felt that it was driven towards govt more..individual,society all left..also u narrowed down doles to fund
    Overall as always,a nice write up with little flaws

  • Hello Serious, My views-
    1. I agree with Kant about the intro. If you ll do the same, then it would be a perfect start.
    2. Perfect and varied examples were there. But there was a problem- u left it many a times to the reader to get what u wanted to say. This sometimes in few examples made it a tough read.
    3. Try to use connectors between the paragraphs.
    4. Conclusion- try to cut short the long sentences. Otherwise it was good.
    Overall, there is no match of your ability to quote examples and that too exactly in context. I got to learn many things from your write up, as always. Keep writing and inspiring 🙂

    • On popular demand, I have edited my intro 😀
      Please don’t call this aajtak or ABP (If u remember ma’am :P)

      Yes I agree with all yur points. But this time I guess I used enough connectors :/

      Will review urs after some time 🙂

      • I remember 😛
        all updated, very fast 😀

  • Nitish, don’t be so skeptical about MGNREGA specially after Modi has come out in its whole-hearted support. Again, the relationship between Gandhi’s NCM , women, Dalits and dole is not very clear to me. Like Gandhi lend them a hand by working to uplift their socio-economic status, instead of giving them a dole? ( Here dole would be?) . Reservations are again controversial. People could hold extreme views just like the anti national debate. So end the paragraph in a neutral tone. The next paragraph is good. Since you’ve mentioned government colleges for doctors, you could elaborate it : The structural failures of our health sector. The patient doctor ratio, the cost of healthcare pushes so many into poverty. Again, too skeptical about DBT. We are not doing this for National Food Security Act yet ( or are we?)
    DBT in Fertilizers, LPG and all will work wonders. The consequent paragraphs are perfect.
    I’ve put in more of a philosophical aspects. You’ve largely talked about the economic and political aspects. Intent and Implementation of policies.
    I’d say I’ve read better essays of yours. This stands out amongst others, but not among your own essays.
    That’s all 🙂

    • more of philosophical*

    • Hey Shreya, thanks for the critical review 🙂

      Actually, what I understand by dole is something for “free” . So, I tried to connect the feeling of nationalism, which didn’t come for free in the socio-economically deprived people, but was due to the efforts of Gandhi (helping hand). Since it isn’t coming out clearly, I will accept my mistake here.

      DBT there have been talks about including it into NFSA, but I have talked of DBT in general.

      Yes and I really loved ur essay to the core(the philo aspects). I’ll do better next time 🙂

      Thank u 🙂

    • Hey Shreya,
      can you please review mine
      at your convenience. thanks ! 🙂

  • Hey Nitish ..wonderful piece of writing .. very good examples indeed ..ur expressions are too good ..very good conclusion ..keep it up 🙂
    few pointers from my side:
    1. Avoid phrases like “Let’s try to comprehend ….” u r not in a debate ..neither are u a teacher .. such phrases like let us do this ..let us try should not come in an essay according to me.
    2. there were 1 or 2 times when i felt you went little off-track ..but i guess that can be ignored
    3. few grammatical errors here and there ..look into them
    4. put disaster management and nepal earthquake points in successive paras to augment the flow.

    Overall: a thorough well-rounded great writing 🙂

    • Okay Namrata… Thank u so much for ur review 🙂

      Next time I’ll improve. And yes u got urself one more reviewer 😛

  • Hello Joker, my views:
    The topic was more of a ‘comparison’ and at places like-women rights, child labor and PCA, I find that only either of the theme was in picture. So try to bring the comparison of dole vs lending hands in these examples
    Strangely, today I found your conclusion a bit abrupt.
    Apart from this, your essay was filled with examples. Can avoid use of “Apparently” in consecutive paras, looks repetitive to me.
    Overall, this was quite good but I want improvement over this 🙂

    • Yaar ekdum sahi pakda conclusion ka. It was really abrupt.

      Comparison waala, bhai mere hisaab se “provisions” and “acts” are “doles” and “implementation” of the provisions and various others are “lending hands”. But yeah I can understand thodi dikkat hui hogi smjhne me

      Next time will improve pakka 🙂

  • Hello jokerji 🙂
    1. intro: feel to dila hi di ki aage kya aane waala hein, toh is hisab toh intro achha hein, but to catch the attention of the reader is somewhat missing.
    2. Reservation still continues, not for the betterment, but for vote-bank politics.–> bhai if you are writing such extreme statements then justify them quoting some credible sources like govt. Reports or supreme court decisions(vaise sach to yahi hein jo tune lkhe hein par exam point of view se justfication is needed)
    3. The solution lies in the problem itself.–> suddenly ending para with this line link nahi ban paya , are u going to talk about solutions? This is not clear. I realised that later when i saw a pattern of problems and solutions going together.
    4. I can recall an answer in which u followed the same approach:) good implication joker 🙂
    5. Poverty index waala para, suddenly aa gaya , same things with many paras, bhai flow nahi hein aaj 🙁
    6. dubara se apparantly, thoda odd lag raha (not a big deal , dil me aya to point out kr diya)
    7. sahukars— write english translation as well in brackets
    8. IR part was the part that I liked the most and could easily link with the theme 🙂
    9. Conclusion: key message nicely summarised , good
    10. You have used lots of GS and Current : i have a doubt here as u already know that flooding the essay with GS and minute details is not a wise approach (when that exceeds a limit don’t really know what is that limit), then why did you opt for this approach ?
    P.S :i know exam mein tu philo hi likhta, yaha to bas experiment ho raha hein, carry on 🙂

    • Hahaha… Ha bhai exam me mai Philo hi chepunga 😛 Experiment bas 😀

      Aapka essay mashallah tha bhai iss baar. Mai next pakka improve karunga 🙂

  • Hello Joker 🙂
    GS wise very good essay.. touched upon various aspects , so multidimensional !
    Keep experimenting here .. but I suggest philosophical suits you more..
    make a blend and balance the two..
    thanks for always giving a brilliant piece of writing 🙂

    • Thank u Fury darling 😛

      Next time will improve for sure 🙂

  • yo Nitish ! as usual loved your essay. lots of takeaways for me 😀 my only pointers :
    1. intro : it is okay but having read so many of your writings i am sure you can do much better
    2. too much gs. try striking a balance with philosophy
    3. conclusion is great, but seems to emerge all of a sudden after the Nepal earthquake when the reader is so not expecting a conclusion . beech me ek paragraph fundebaazi karte toh itna abrupt nahi lagta
    no other critics . one of the best essays.

    keep writing 🙂
    Have a look at mine when you get time..

    thanks !

    • hey joytsana! 🙂
      Thanks for the review… Although I didn’t find it good enough ye waala! I’ll review urs shaam tak if u don’t have a problem 🙂

  • avinash Verma

    I don’t find any falt really it’s awesome.