Andhra Pradesh Draws Inspiration from Eva Peron's Social Welfare Programmes

7 May, 2023 06:00 IST|Sakshi Post

Eva Perón was an Argentine politician, activist, actress

Charismatic figure who is remembered for being a champion of women's rights

Charity separates the rich from the poor; aid raises the needy and sets them on the same level with the rich - Eva Peron, First Lady of Argentina

May 7th marks the birth anniversary of a remarkable woman whose beliefs are relevant even to this day not only in the country she was born in but in every corner of the world where hunger, poverty and sickness plague mankind. Where basic needs of life are not addressed and there is a huge economic disparity.

Revered by the working class, Eva Perón was known as the “spiritual leader of Argentina,” for her humanitarian work and fierce dedication to economic justice. I guess they thought she was spiritual because you need to be spiritual to understand the plight of the needy and reach out to them as a responsibility and not a chore or a charade . 

When in this day and age, the so-called leaders make a charade of caring for the poor and in the same breath fail to recognise genuine work done by others it makes for the worst kind of injustice. As the wife of Argentine Pres. Juan Perón, Eva was instrumental in cutting government subsidies to the traditional Sociedad de Beneficencia (Spanish: “Aid ) which helped the traditional elite, she replaced it with her own Eva Perón Foundation, which was supported by “voluntary” union and business contributions plus a substantial cut of the national lottery and other funds. These resources were used to establish thousands of hospitals, schools, orphanages, homes for the aged, and other charitable institutions across Argentina. Eva was largely responsible for the passage of the women’s suffrage ( right to vote ) law and formed the Peronista Feminist Party in 1949. 

The author at the memorial of Eva Peron in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Closer home in Andhra Pradesh, some counter views about welfare measures taken up by the current Government caught my attention.Upon taking a closer look at some details and data, I realised that the AP Government, so far, has done some path-breaking work for marginalised sections in the state . 

The above statement is true because of two important observations :

1. Every single section of society that needed financial inclusion has been addressed to the extent possible in the last four years. 

2. The organised structure and process by which aid is being dispensed with utmost dignity and with least trouble very effectively.

This said then why the murmur about why aid has popped up, why so much etc. 

While the debate on why and how of financial aid and subsidies is a contentious one  it’s not surprising to note that a chant against it is used  in this case purely for political gain. If one puts one’s ear to the ground you have two clear narratives 

1. The first one from beneficiaries who are most satisfied with both the aid and the manner of reaching it to them . 

2. The second one I discovered could be blamed on the first one ! 

When a Government does all that it promises detractors will spread a message about how it’s not good for the economy to spend on aid. This is done clandestinely and not in the open by the two faced political leaders and so I am not surprised.

This will not deter a leader who is truly determined and committed to fulfil his mission. Leaders who spread false propaganda by claiming that their regimes and policies built some industries and infrastructure whose time had anyway come will set up for long term impact but aid concerns itself with today and can not wait. The morsel to feed the hungry child bothers a mother today , the old and the infirm need support today , the student studying today needs immediate aid for his or her future because lives and livelihoods cannot sustain themselves just with prospects of future , in the present if not taken care they might perish - both lives and opportunities. A clear balance is required and that is very much in place. 

These so called statesmen spreading lies about aid coming in the way of economic growth need to re-think their ways of negating good by spreading lies . To remain in the memories of the world like Eva Peron needs a honest commitment, lot of grit and determination . Eva Peron died aged 33, though the number of years she lived were short the impact of her work was immense and continues to be an inspiration to leaders across the world . 

               ----- The article was authored by Rani Reddy

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