Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Petty politics of Cash doles

In the wee hours of this wet Sunday morning just a week after the stampede in a similar relief camp set up by the government at Vyasarpadi, Chennai claimed 6 lives A stampede at KK Nagar, Chennai has already claimed 42 lives.

Now more people have died in Chennai due to stampedes for getting flood relief than due to the floods itself!!!

Disasters and tragedies are merry times for the people in power. Everyone wants to be seen as doing something good for the people in need of help. Bigger the publicity for the event, bigger is the cash dole. Hours into the tragedy the Chief Minister announced a cash dole of Rs. 1,00,000 for the families of each of the victims

  • The government has announced a compensation of Rs. 50,000 only to each of the families of those who died in the bus accidents in which the buses were swept away in floods in Ramanathapuram and Thanjavur districts last month.
  • How is the life of someone who is killed with lesser media glare in anyway less worthy of similar compensation?
  • Who are these people to decide the value of a life?
  • What would the grieving families do with all this money?

In the first place the stampede itself was because the government was doling out Rs. 2,000 to the people. Instead of resorting to such bribery months before the elections the government could've taken precautionary measures to prevent such inundation of residential areas due to flooding.

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