ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Poverty Alleviation and Village Politics in Tamil Nadu-Whose Interests First

Poverty Alleviation and Village Politics in Tamil Nadu Whose Interests First?
Rita Gebert The Integrated Rural Development Programme has been oft-discussed, but seldom from the perspective of one of its main beneficiaries during the Sixth Five-Year Plan: the milk society president who acted as a loan broker between the local development administration and IRDP beneficiaries and between bankers and beneficiaries. This paper is not a quantitative assessment of poor beneficiaries' cost-benefits, but rather a qualitative account of the type of people, largely drawn from the rich peasantry, interested in becoming milk society presidents, their successes with the administration in this regard, and how they managed their milk societies. The field work conducted in twenty villages in two blocks of central Tamil Nadu during 1985 and 1986 suggests that the type of person who became a milk president was an important factor in the programme's overall profitability for the actual, especially poor beneficiaries.

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