a conversation between a babu and a citizen :
citizen: ega ? i still don't understand what it means .
babu: ( a little sarcastic) you needn't, because it would be cooked and delivered to your doorstep as egp.
c. what's an egp, does it contain eggs?
b. no, but it may contain grain as a nutrition supplement.
c. may contain ?
b. it depends, you see, on the availability of funds and stocks. and work.
c. work ?
b. yes, you have to pay in work for whatever you get in return.
c. work ?
b. like filling up trenches.
c. oh ?
b. and digging up trenches. or whatever you in the boondocks consider 'productive assets'.
c. so it's a dole?
b. definitely not. we tax the rich and pay for this programme.
c. (now really interested) you mean you tax the rich and pay us?
b. no, we tax the rich and make you work.
c. that means we would get all that you take away from the rich?
b. no, you might get the minimum wage.
c. who gets the rest?
b. what do you mean?
c. i mean who gets the rest of the money from the taxes after you pay me?
b. the pm says 'institutional mechanisms' would be set up to deal with that.
c. (disgusted) deal with whoever steals the money ?
b. no, to see that there is a 'timely transfer of resources' ?
c. who gets transferred ?
b. whoever fails to show 'transparency in maintenance of muster rolls and payment of wages.' ?
c. what ?
b.whoever says you worked for 30 days when you only worked for 3.
c. who ?
b. your programme officer.
c. why should he say that i've worked for 30 days when i've not worked for a day ?
b. because he's not transparent - he should tell you everything about the scheme the day you register.
c.( feeling he's the one that's transparent) nobody tells me anything.
b. don't worry. now everything has to be put down on paper and recorded. you'll also get a job card....don't pawn that.
c. and then?
b. you apply for work.
c. i can't write.
b. that's okay, the panchayat will help you.
c. what's in it for them ?
c. you mean they take away half of what i get paid ?
b. no, you idiot. they get half of all funds for the scheme.
c. who gets the other half ?
b. the programme officer decides that.
c. i work for nothing ?
b.you get paid for whatever work you do.
c. (scratching his head, making rapid calculations on his palm) the officer gets 50% and the panchayat gets another fifty..please sir, what do i get?
b. (exhausted) you get paid for 100 days of work.
c. what work ?
b. (#$%..!) whatever work the panchayat assigns you.
c. (thinking of his past experiences) what if they don't ?
b. you get paid anyway.. at least a part of the minimum wage for not being given work after applying.
c. ( warming up to this idea) what if i gave you a part of that.. you know..so that i
keep getting whatever money..
b. (frowning) yes.
c. ...without being assigned any work..
b. (feigning anger) that's illegal.
c. (grumbling) i won't get any work because the sarpanch doesn't like me. i voted for the opposition..
b. you can complain.
c. what would happen then ?
b. the programme would be stopped in the whole district.
c. ( wondering how that would help ) who thought up this scheme..a sardar ?
b. oh, it has its supporters... a belgian who likes yatras.. an italian who doesn't... a bengali who didn't like the ias... ....
c. (lost in thought) i can ask sagar anna for help.
b. who is he?
c. he heads the racha (..konda dalam, he almost says, but stops )... maybe i can give him something..
b. who ?
c. the sarpanch.
b. i told you the whole programme would be stopped if there are any reports of corruption.
c. so how do i get any work?
b. you apply for it, you are assigned work and then you get paid for it.. every week ..or after two..weeks..maybe. you know how it is..
c. what if i don't get paid ? (now getting wiser) don't tell me ... i shouldn't complain..
b. i didn't say that..you could tell the gram sabha.
c. that's what i did when he siphoned off money from the housing scheme to build another floor on his house.
b. and ?
c. he hates my guts now.
b. so why don't you talk to the other leader then..the one you voted for..
c. no one listens to him now..they found fwp rice in his cowshed...
b. don't worry, they can't stop the payment..i'll be there.
c. what's in it for you ?
the citizen walks away, thinking of sagar anna.