L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Plug loopholes in BPL programme

As per the practice, the families living below the poverty line (BPL) are identified through the BPL census conducted by the district authorities at the behest of the Union Ministry of Rural Development and the Union Ministry of Urban Housing and Poverty Alleviation for Rural and Urban Areas, respectively.

The identification of such families is done on the basis of certain socio-economic criteria. Recently, the socio-economic caste census-2011 was conducted for the identification of such families in urban as well as rural areas. The BPL families so identified are entitled to get many benefits, subsidies and financial assistance for house/toilet construction under the social welfare and economic development programmes launched by the Central and state governments. Attracted by such benefits, some ineligible families do not hesitate to try and succeed in getting the BPL tag by providing wrong information to the surveyor or manipulate their status in collusion with certain officials. Thus, many genuine/eligible poor are left out of the BPL list and thereby deprived of the benefits they are entitled to.

Recently, a survey was held for identifying ineligible families having this tag and recovery of benefits availed by them, in which a number of genuine poor had to return the tag, whereas the ineligible were able to retain the BPL status. This is the social problem coupled with political influence and administrative laxity, where the economically well-to-do due to their having good clout with high-ups in the administration succeed by hiding their actual status, thereby grabbing the share of poor people. The culprits should be punished so that the genuine are not deprived of its benefits.

DR PURAN SINGH, Chandigarh

Wear helmet, save life

It is ironical that most of the bikers and scooterists wear helmets only to escape from the eyes of the traffic police and the unwanted challan. Though it protects us from serious head injuries and the resultant death, many bikers risk their lives by going for a sub-standard helmet.

Also, they do not care to buckle the strap. What is the use of wearing a helmet, if you do not buckle it? A securely fastened helmet can minimise the risk of death. The news of motorcyclists losing their lives because of head injuries is not uncommon. There is an urgent need to educate people about the benefits of wearing a helmet while driving.

VIPIN SEHGAL, Kurukshetra

Consensual sex and rape

The offence of rape totally depends on the absence of “consent” of the victim. Consensual sex is not an offence. However, after a rift in relationship, the girl gives it the colour of non-consensual sex. Mostly, the reason allegedly given for the rape is non-fulfilment of the promise of marriage by the boy. And in some cases, the relationship has continued for years. Despite this, the boy is made to face the trial for rape (editorial ‘Judicial confusion’, June 11).

The Supreme Court while dealing with one such case found that it was a case where the accused did breach the promise of marriage for which he is prima facie accountable for damages under the civil law and is not liable to be proceeded against for the offence of rape.

Thus, the courts are now alive to this problem as is evident from the judgment referred to in your editorial also. The culprit tends to earn life imprisonment for this serious offence. Thus, the confusion over the matter must be cleared.

BS BHATIA, Chandigarh



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