BPL status is sensitive topic in the state of Jharkhand and there is broad agreement in the area around Bila Panchayat that there are serious anomalies in the BPL list. Many deserving candidates are left out and some rather affluent households have been included. The District Administration in collaboration with the Mukhiya of the Panchayat decided to capitalize on this discontent in the people and introduce the acclaimed good practice of ‘Partcipatory Identification of Poor’. The activity was taken up as a part of the first round of Gram Sabhas in each of the Villages which formed the core component of the Social Mobilisation Phase of the scheme.
A tentative list was first prepared with the help of the traditional and elected leaders of the area. It was specially instructed to be sensitive to the women-headed households and of the geographical and social exclusion dimensions. This list was then read out in the open Gram Sabha, which almost always came up with additions and omissions to the list. To keep the procedure simple it was instructed to keep the list to less than 15 in number. The process often created a lot of furore and only unanimous decisions were included. The presence of District level officials facilitated the procedure.