Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Anjali - Give Up My Subsidy

We were driving to the airport a couple of days ago when eight year old Anjali spotted a hoarding that said - Give up your LPG subsidy.

'What is subsidy Nanna?' she asked.

I explained what LPG was and why it is subsidised by the government and what the government wants us to do by giving it up. I don't know how much of it she understood but she got one thing bang on - we were part of the people who could afford it and were still claiming the subsidy.

'Let us give up our subsidy Nanna,' she said in that urgent manner of hers. 'Today.'
I asked her why.
'So the poor can benefit. We can do out bit for them. We can afford it.'
She was very animated by now.

I gave her an alternative. 'What if I gave you that subsidy amount to spend on the poor the way you want it?'
'No,' she said firmly. 'Let us give up the subsidy.'

I don't know how and when she noticed it but she also saw that there was a giveupmysubsidy.com. She asked me to go there and give it up. Currently she is checking with me everyday whether I have given up. A proper activist.

I am surprised at how she caught on and how persistent she is. LPG, subsidy, government, poor - where does she understand this? But she seems to know the essence of that plea. That we can and someone cannot.. And by giving up, someone may benefit.

My thought process is - let the government handle it's own hassles. they can give up many more things and become much more efficient. And by doing that it can save a lot more for the nation. I am not thinking of what I can do from a larger perspective. I am thinking so transactionally. So narrowly.

What with all this activism, I am now inclined to give up my subsidy. It does seem like the right thing to do. For now I am glad for that hoarding, that idea of whoever to seek public participation and that it caught the eye of a child who was driving past a hoarding. Sometimes that is all change requires - an honest effort. It can connect anywhere, anytime.

No comments: