Officials from 18 state governments and the Central government are taking part in a national workshop aimed at explaining a method called Participatory Identification of Poor (PIP), pioneered by the TN government. The PIP method is aimed at creating a list of beneficiaries for effective delivery of various government services.
The usage of the PIP method was started in Tamil Nadu in 2005, under the previous AIADMK regime. The method aims to use not just income, but other social factors such as upward mobility and appraisal by local communities to create a list of beneficiaries. This list is meant to be more socially conscious than one that uses just income to count a family of poor, namely the Below Poverty Line (BPL) list.
The method has been praised by the Union Ministry of Rural Development, which has suggested its adoption by other state governments. Officials from the Union government, 18 state governments and representatives from seven NGOs were taken on two days of field visits of villages already covered by the PIP method to see the methodology.
The PIP method relies on building a list of poor members of individual villages with the participation and guidance of the residents themselves. This method has been used by the Tamil Nadu government for the National Rural Livelihoods Mission and the State government’s Pothu Vazhvu Project. Officials working on these projects said though the method was time consuming, the list that emerged has proved to be high in relevance as well as widely accepted by local communities, thanks to their own participation in its preparation.
“Income alone is not an indicator of poverty. PIP method entails the inclusion of handicapped, terminally ill, widows, transgenders and other sections into the list. It has also helped bring in other beneficiaries who are otherwise invisible from the system, like nomadic communities,” said an official of the Pothu Vazhvu Project, as part of a presentation on the PIP method.
This was followed by a question and answer session where officials of the Tamil Nadu government, including Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women Managing Director and Pothu Vazhvu Project Director Mythili K Rajendran. Union Ministry of Rural Development Additional Secretary SM Vijayanand and Tamil Nadu’s Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Secretary CV Sankar were also scheduled to take part.