Performance of welfare schemes that are implemented for vulnerable sections is not so effective due to absence of their awareness and active involvement at all stages of policy process – Discuss.

India which embodied the concept of Welfare State since its inception has initiated numerous schemes for the welfare of the vulnerable sections. The social audits often indicate that these schemes have been underperforming and one of the main reason is surely the absence of awareness among vulnerable sections and their active involvement at all stages of the policy process and in implementation.

Lack of Awareness and Lack of Tangible Results

The government often announces n number of schemes and doesn’t take must efforts to build awareness of scheme among those for whom the scheme has been modelled. As a result, the beneficiaries are at the mercy of the bureaucracy and there is a lack of rights-based approach. This also translates into a lack of accountability on the part of the bureaucracy and the executive.

Lack of awareness reduces the vulnerable sections to mere beneficiaries rather than partners in the development process. This bureaucracy led approach in the place of beneficiary led approach makes the vulnerable sections a hesitant participant which reduces the efficacy of the schemes.

Social Audit is one of the effective ways to ascertain the performance of various schemes and adopt necessary corrective actions. But lack of awareness among the target groups results in a gap in ascertaining the effectiveness of the scheme. Hence no robust corrective actions could be taken.

Lack of Active Participation and Lack of Tangible Results

Lack of active participation of vulnerable sections in the planning process results in gaps in the policy due to lack of first-hand experience. Often the policies which are the brainchild of armchair experts fail to capture the challenges and translate into tangible benefits.

Lack of active participation also eliminates the chances of beneficiary led approach and rights-based approach. In the absence of both, there is a clear lack of accountability on the part of the executive.

Lack of active participation also results in absurd policies which propagate one size fits all approach. This approach undermines the fact that India is a land of diversity clubbed with disparities and the uniform measures will not yield desired results.

Way Forward

Democracy is by the people, of the people and for the people. Hence for democracy to succeed in both letter and spirit, it is necessary for active participation of people in governance. Building awareness and encouraging active involvement will go a long way in enhancing outcomes of welfare schemes.


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