At a time when shamefully 50% of the Indian population has to defecate in public (Hindustan Times Report), more than 25% of world's hungry poor are in India (United Nations World Food Programme Report), and India is being called world's Hunger Capital (Deccan Herald Report), the honorable Indian Prime Minister is reportedly about to announce on this Independence day, the distribution of a free Mobile phone to every 'Below Poverty Line' family (reportedly costing around Rs. 7000 crores (~ USD 1.27 Billion). Shouldn't tax payers' money go to a better cause than giving free mobile phones to poor who lack even food, toilets and basic medical facilities? Half of it might be raised by Service provider itself, and some part of it might be funded by USO (Universal Service Obligation).
Rural Development Minister, Jairam Ramesh has recently proposed a project to rid India of the scourge of open defecation and clean up rail system, described as world’s “largest open toilet” , the cost of which is around $130 million, much lesser than what would cost for providing cell phone to every family below poverty line. A part of the money could much better be spent here.
Moreover, for BPL families, meaning the people who according to Government's own policies don't even have an earning of more than Rs. 32/- per day per person, isn't a mobile phone going to add to their liability (after the first 'free' 200 minutes are over) rather than being an asset? There are high chances that they will just sell the phone for food/ medicines or other basic necessities.
If you agree with us, sign the petition, and share with every Indian across the world, we don't have too much time in hand. The announcement is likely to happen on August 15, 2012.
Every signature of yours will send an email to the Prime Minister directly.