Editorial | Securing the minimum needs

Social security and beneficiary schemes much reach to grassroots, says the LG.  Nothing can be closer to truth on this subject. The idea of social security is at the core of any welfare state. Any state, or any government running that state, are authentic, legitimate, and functional only till they   focus on the social security of a common person. In the western countries, and other developed states of the world, we have an elaborate system of social security where almost none is left out. The healthcare exigencies are taken care of, and so are other human needs addressed. Compared to that we are lagging far behind. Except a small minority of government employees no one is here  secured in terms of a health emergency or any other eventuality. Consequently we have seen even well to do families devastated in case the earning had dies, or faces some disability.

Similarly the government schemes for the poor and marginalised are neither so robust, nor is the distribution at the ground level so efficient that it could turn around the situation. That is the  reason that problems persists, and there are chilling accounts of how poverty has driven families to an indescribable devastation. If it is said that the benefit of the existing schemes should reach the grassroots level, no one can disagree with that, and we need to appreciate all steps taken in that direction. But the larger question is that the government should start working seriously on  a comprehensive plan that takes into account all the people regardless of who they are. In case of basic minimum needs, and a cover for eventualities, no difference should be made on whether a person in working in government sector, private sector, or has some independent business, or is an agriculturalist, or a labourer. These benefits from the state should percolate down to every single citizen. Providing basic minimum needs, and taking care of the health emergencies, is no privilege. The state must think  in terms of allocating resources for schemes that offer these securities in a big way.