Letter to NOVIB (13 April 1993)

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The BCS is clear that the number and membership of CSUs is going to rise in the coming years to about 40% of the taluk population (50% of the small and poor peasant population). There are clear indicators of this happening. Our own educated guess is that the BCS will surpass its coverage targets. Perhaps as much as 60% of the taluk population (75% of the Coolie population) will be in the CSUs within the next 5 years simply because the Coolies do not know of any other way to survive with dignity in the changing political economy.

The 1st component of the endowment fund Coolie contributions to their Sangha Funds will keep rising at the rate of about Rs 1 million every year, making it possible for them to provide the same cover of decentralised health, children’s education, electricity, taxes, stationery, insurance, legal aid and aid distress to an additional 150 member families every year. Additionally are the calculations shown on page 18 of the application where we speak of farm earnings, etc. We agree that these arithmetic do not sound very enthusiastic since only a marginal membership increase of 4.3% can be accommodated by such calculations. Specially when we ourselves expect far more spectacular increases in coverage and membership. But we draw faith from the Coolie’s attitude towards new members in the first place. We feel that their priorities are right and that they have sound guiding principles. When there is a will to accommodate more Coolies joining their communities, as opposed to “protecting their share of the spoils”, we are sure that the BCS will never place paucity of funds as a reason to not admit more CSUs and Coolie families. They will come up with solutions to overcome the resource problem. Perhaps they will double Sangha Fund contributions which we have all along frankly admitted to not quite being equal to the 10% call given by the BCS. Increased incomes and a stricter voluntary adherence to the Sangha Fund call may substantially increase their capacity to accommodate.

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