As per the Government of Orissa’s notification, 100% verification of the household surveyed during the 2002 BPL census will be validated within a span of 4 months beginning from November 2009-January 2010. It seems, the BPL validation process is going to leave out more than 10 lakh migrants who will not be able to enroll themselves in the BPL validation. This is because the seasonal migration cycle which begins from October-June will deny the migrants to get themselves enroll, participate in the household survey and take part in the Grama Sabha which is scheduled between November 2009-January 2010.
The 2002 BPL survey has acknowledged migration as one of the criteria of rural vulnerability. Migration related to seasonal and casual work has been considered as key indicator for the survey. In Orissa 76,84,371 households were surveyed under the 2002 BPL survey carried out by the Govt of India. Out of which 30,28,526 households were reported as migrants and coming under the category of seasonal and casual work. The percentage of rural migration to the total surveyed rural household in Orissa is little less than 50%. The high prevalence rate of migration is a stark testimony to the ill implementation of government social security and poverty alleviation programme. Poverty estimation has been a tough, complex and critical task for both the central and state government. The survey methodology and criteria adopted for the 1997 poverty estimate and 2000 BPL survey has been in question for its pro poor intent and efficiency to enroll the deserving rural household in the BPL.
The BPL is passport for a poor person to avail all the antipoverty, welfare and social security entitlements from the government. However, as per 2002 BPL validation, the rural household who will score below 13 points (out of the total score of 52) will be eligible for the new BPL inclusion. Wide spread apprehension has been raised about the 13 point questionnaire which probably might eliminate more deserving families rather include the vulnerable and eligible households into the list. The central government has been insisting that Govt of Orissa should reduce the current BPL coverage of 41.56 lakh to 38 lakh. This means 3.56 lakh BPL families need to be eliminating from the current list.
While it is vital for the government to include the most vulnerable and eliminate the most undeserving families in the BPL survey, exclusion of migrant families in the process will pose immense concern for everyone. It is high time that the government should come up with some policy direction to address these issues on priority and facilitate a effective mechanism in which the poor will be included rather get thrown out from the process.