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New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognizance of a media reports that a humiliating graffiti –‘I am poor, I take ration through National Food Security Act, NFSA’ written in Hindi- is found on the walls of the houses of at least 50,000 Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in Dausa district of Rajasthan.

An elderly woman belonging to BPL category has reportedly come up stating that nobody likes to admit how poor they are but when this was the only way to get 15 kg of wheat, there was no question of not getting this painted on her wall. A photograph of the lady with painted wall is also displayed in one of the media reports, according to an NHRC release.

The NHRC has observed that the media reports about this kind of humiliation, if true, amounts to violation of the Right to Dignity of the beneficiaries of the scheme. No civilized society would ever appreciate such an imprudent and irrational act of the state authorities, according to the NHRC release. Accordingly, it has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Rajasthan, calling for a detailed report in the matter along with action taken against the officials concerned within four weeks.

According to the media reports, carried on June 23, 2017, Rajendra Rathore, State Minister for Panchayati Raj and Rural Development, has said that no such order was issued by the present government and the matter will be looked into as it is wrong to have “I am poor” painted on the walls. He has also, reportedly, stated that the practice of painting such labels outside the houses of the BPL families was started by the previous government through an order dated August 6, 2009, according to the release. The government officials allegedly offer to pay the beneficiaries Rs 750 if they paint the message on their walls.

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