The Government expenditure on rural/urban empowerment has grown sharply over time and shows a positive impact on the BPL population significantly. There are several schemes introduced for the rural/urban upliftment which includes several governmental organizations responsible for - SC/ST welfare, Rural/Urban development, Minorities welfare, Women Empowerment, Employment exchanges, SIPCOT, National Rural/Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), Handloom / Handicraft / Textile / Khadi, etc. Governments can do much to address social problems. They are large and powerful, with access to almost every corner of society, and they can mobilize vast resources. So, it is tempting to simply dump our country's social problems into the lap of government and watch the show.

With strong government commitment and political will, the VelaiSMS program would emerge from small beginning to become India's flagship rural/urban employment program. Using a conceptual framework of the causes of unemployment, VelaiSMS shows that its components are well- designed to address the immediate causes of rural/urban unemployment in India, even though - as will be seen later - substantial shifts in focus and improvements in implementation will be necessary if the program is to realize that potential.

The new paradigm of relationship between VelaiSMS and state and central agencies deserves to be explored more thoroughly in the wide range of socio-economic contexts as both sides need to rethink their positions and attitudes and allow this new paradigm an opportunity to prove itself. Otherwise aspirations towards transparency and accountability, which depend to such a great extent on this partnership, will remain unfulfilled.

Our Experience