Saturday, September 15, 2012

Where to start?

From Sonia Faleiro's article in the NYT For India's Children, Philanthropy Isn't Enough:

What’s most galling about this corrupt behavior is the fact that the current government is making an unprecedented effort to confront poverty. In 2011, according to a World Bank report, India spent over 2 percent of its gross domestic product on poverty alleviation. Over the past 11 years, India’s government has sought to provide free midday school meals, a guarantee of 100 days of employment annually to the rural poor and free primary education. But endemic corruption, from the very top down to the ground level, prevents them from being implemented effectively. A lack of transparency and a leakage of subsidies to the nonpoor means that poverty isn’t falling nearly as fast as it should be.
The free hot meal is the reason Meena goes to school. But her teachers routinely skip school, three days a week. When teachers don’t come, the school stays shut, and there’s no meal. A well-funded, well-intentioned program created to educate and feed poor children fails on both counts: Meena not only learns nothing, she also goes hungry.


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