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This issue highlights very encouraging public activities in two places in Asia, each of which holds such great potential....Maharlika (Philippines) and W. Bengal, India.

On March 8 in Kolkata, to commemorate International Women's Day, GP joined forces with the Woman's Welfare Department of Ananda Marga in a lively and well attended march and rally. Local activists also found their voice in response to the issue of many female fetuses being routinely aborted.

Photos depict a colorful annual protest demonstration mounted by Ang KaSaMa, the federation of samaj movements in Maharlika. We also report on very significant news from the city of Oroquieta, in Northern Mindanao, where the Mayor and his municipal council work to implement Prout-based policies and initiatives for their local development.

Our past several issues have contained only news. With this issue we resume publishing of Proutist analysis on pertinent issues. Universal Basic Income (UBI) has become a popular idea for many. In a two part article, Jagadbandhu (USA) shares an in-depth Proutist commentary. 

 
To contribute an article to the Prout News & Analysis newsletter, write to:
contact@prout-global.net

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SONA - State of the Nation Address
Ang KaSaMa annual Protest in Manila

contributed by Dada Devapriyananda
This is our regular political protest every year... SONA  (State of the Nation Address) for clean and honest government and environment, as well as March against Martial Law and Pork Barrel. This protest calls against the degradation and destruction of our environment. It's a coalition of different concerned groups and individuals dubbed as Sining (Art), Kalikasan (Environment) Aklasan (Protest). We promote alternative energy against giant electric corporation, herbal medicines vis a vis pharmaceutical products, yoga and meditation against vices. We distribute Prout leaflets and other Prout reading materials etc, deliver speeches on Neo-humanism and the rampant corruption in the administrations. In this protest smoking, alcohol, drugs and waste is prohibited.  

Prout-Based Development Planning
in Northern Mindanao


A report from Dada Dharmavedananda

Ms. Ruvy Ala has personally benefited from her several visits to the Ananda Marga Yoga Wellness Centre in Cebu, Maharlika (Philippines). Her most recent visit however may soon result in more far-reaching benefits for her entire city.  

Ruvy is a third-term elected official in the municipal government of Oroquieta City, a town of approximately 75,000 people in Northern Mindanao. Her partner (Sir Jason Almonte) is the current Mayor. During her last visit to Cebu, I introduced Ruvy to Prout. Subsequently the Mayor, Ruvy and their colleagues became keen to know more about Prout - and to consider implementing some of its policies and vision in their area.

                    
                                   Ruvy Ala Presents in the Workshop

Oroquieta is a city with some reputation throughout the country - known for being clean and a good place for both foreigners and locals to live when they retire. Some years ago it also temporarily gained recognition for making efforts with cooperatives. The poverty level is 37%, which is of course high, but somewhat less than nearby towns. Under-employment is especially challenging.

Upon the invitation of the Mayor and his team, brother Shiva (Professor Shermon Cruz) and I went to Oroquieta for a three-day workshop. It was attended by the Mayor, the Vice-Mayor, a good number of their other elected officials, and some key non-elected officers. Prof Shiva led the first half of the program with analysis and future-visioning exercises. These were along the same lines as the Causal Layer Analysis (CLA) workshop developed by Professor Sohail Inayatullah. I led the second half, going into some of the economic policies of Prout. 

Participants formed into groups to analyze which of these applied most for Oroquieta, and to conceptualize their implementation. During dinner, Shiva and I discussed more deeply with the Mayor and other key figures. 
   
The same group will be looking at the conclusions they drew in consider their materialization. Their present rough planning and ideas touched a number of areas, including for example:

-- Backyard gardening, as far as possible at every single house, with excess sold through local-area cooperatives. 

-- Local Government Unit (LGU) to set up organic hub or market, provide technical know-how, organic fertilizer, seeds, training programs, storage system, packaging, transport, market, promotion, outside marketing, and R & D for our products.

-- Consumers’ Cooperatives: Small coops in each Barangay (neighbourhood), plus major single coop for the whole city with continuous training & monitoring.

-- Inland fisheries

-- “Buy local” campaign

-- Education: Reset values so students learn how they can develop the city, with scholarship grants specifically for agricultural and other innovation.

-- Decentralize economic planning: Barangay level and city level economic planning, regular frequent economic forums to encourage maximum locals to participate, revitalize the Barangay Self-Sufficiency program which earlier worked well - until corruption set in (this time plan carefully according to real needs and to avoid corruption, ensure more transparency and involvement of LGU in supervising).

-- Select limited number of organizers to undergo one-month leadership training in nearby progressive city Dumingag, which emphasizes personal example

                      
                       Oroquieta City Municipal Staff with Dada and Shiva
                                                            
Our follow-up with the city is crucial. I intend to go there again after they take one or two more steps in their further study and detailed planning.

Though it is only one step at present, it is promising and perhaps unprecedented thus far in our work – even in other countries.

GP in Action on March 8

                                                            Reported by Dada Divyacetananda

                                
                                         Intl. Women Day March and Rally Despite Poor Weather
 
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Girl's Prout (GP) in collaboration with the Women Welfare Department (WWD) of Ananda Marga organised a colorful procession and rally in downtown Kolkata.
  
In spite of three hours continuous heavy rain, more than 500 women representatives from different Districts of  West Bengal participated. A public meeting highlighted the crisis women face in the present social system. The program started with offering flowers to the portrait of Shrii P. R. Sarkar, singing of Prabhata Samgiita and Prabhata Samgiita- based group dance were also performed.

Speakers included a number of women and female Acaryas. All speakers spoke on Shrii Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar’s mission for “The Awakening of Women”. Ms. Sagrika Pal lauded that in the annals of human history we find women whose memory glorifies not only womanhood, but the entire human world. In philosophy and spirituality, social reform and educational pursuits, science and technology, they stand second to none.

GP Secretary Avadhutika Ananda Gatimaya Acharya delivered a speech calling to abolish dogma and liberate women from psychic exploitation and demanding:

-- Free education for all women in West Bengal. In many districts, the female literacy is much lower and sometimes half of that of male literacy.

-- No discrimination should be tolerated any longer in the social, educational and religious realms.

-- Economic and social security to all women must be guaranteed.

                                     
                                                  Local Media Highlighted the Event

 
Proutist Analysis
 
Prout's Guaranteed Minimum Requirements
and Universal Basic Income
 
(Part One)

Jagadbandhu (USA)

Introduction
 
Universal Basic Income (UBI), at times referred to as Unconditional Basic Income has recently become a widely considered and much discussed idea. The concept itself is not new but UBI proposals have taken on a new life of late. Supporters of UBIs come from many surprising sources, all across the political spectrum and various well known individuals. Opponents are just as varied and include many who have long worked for social welfare programs and strive to expand social safety nets.
 
In part 1 of this two-part piece we provide a brief description of typical UBI proposals, some of the arguments for and against, then briefly describe Prout's Guaranteed Minimum Requirements.
 
In Part 2 we will consider some of the features of a Prout economy that will enable it to provide what no other economy has or could.
 

Universal Basic Income
 
It is important to keep in mind a UBI would exist in otherwise mostly unchanged economic, social and political systems that gave rise to the problems a UBI intends to mitigate. Certainly a UBI will require bureaucratic restructuring and significant changes in tax policy but not much else would necessarily be altered. UBI proposals are ultimately about trying to obviate the need for restructuring the socioeconomic and political system. Conversely, Prout represents a completely different socioeconomic and political system which includes a guarantee of minimum requirements for everyone in its core structure.
 
A UBI is simple to understand. It is a regular payment given to everyone regardless of need, age, health, employment, ability or willingness to work or any other criteria. Some versions of the idea propose smaller amounts for children and payments only to legal citizens but otherwise the general notion is that everyone would receive an identical payment regardless of any characteristics or circumstances.
  
A UBI would replace virtually every other aspect of a social safety net that exists or might be proposed in favor of regular cash transfers which the recipients can use as they wish.
  
Some reasons given in favor of a UBI:

- Recipients presumably know their needs so they can use such funds to improve their lives more effectively than government programs
 
- Robotics and ICT advances are eliminating the need to involve people to accomplish many jobs. This trend will continue and even accelerate so a UBI will assure that people will not be left to the whims of a shrinking labor market.
 
- A UBI generates less work disincentive than supplemental programs that are gradually withdrawn as income increases.
 
- A UBI is simple to administer eliminating most of the inefficiency and cost of governmental programs.
 
- A UBI will allow people to directly receive a portion of the natural wealth of the world that has previously been appropriated by the state and private ownership.
 

Some reasons given in opposition of a UBI:
 
- Recipients will misuse the funds in ways that harm themselves such as purchasing drugs and alcohol.
 
- A UBI will eliminate programs built on experience and know-how that aid those who face problems that cannot be solved by a monthly check.
 
- A UBI will still create a strong disincentive for work.
 
- Societies do not have the resources to provide an adequate UBI.
 
- The added funds in circulation will lead to rapid inflation.
 
- A UBI may actually increase wealth and income inequality.
 
There are more arguments both for and against UBI. The reality is that neither proponents nor opponents know the effects of a UBI because a true UBI has never existed. Pilot programs have been tried or are currently underway, and situations have arisen in cases that created circumstances very similar to a UBI. From such partial data some inferences can be drawn, but not enough to fully predict all the effects of a true UBI.
 
Among the problems with the information currently available:
 
Recipients of these programs know they are temporary. Response to a temporary change in economic circumstances is quite different from that of a change believed to be permanent.
 
Pilot programs reach a small portion of the population and usually one specifically chosen according to certain socioeconomic characteristics. So, observed effects will not cover the full range that would arise from a universal program.
 
Small, targeted programs cannot reveal the macroeconomic effects of a true UBI program.
 
Nevertheless, these programs and historical circumstances that had the qualities of a UBI show some interesting results.  
 
The work disincentive, while present, was not as pronounced as most expected. Many recipients used the income to start their own businesses or get training to seek better jobs.
 
Recipients were healthier than their non-recipient counterparts or recipients of typical welfare programs.
  
Children from recipient families performed better in school than non-recipient children or those on welfare programs.
 
These results are not surprising. People want a better life for themselves and their family and most will use available resources to aid in improving their lives and most people are better judges of how to use resources to improve their own lives than bureaucrats - however well meaning.
  
If some countries find the political will and economic resources to implement UBIs it will almost surely improve the lives of those at the low end of the income distribution. Nevertheless, the deeper problems of capitalism will remain and, as often happens in capitalist economies, unanticipated changes and even intentional policies will likely arise to offset many of the benefits of a UBI. In short, a UBI is not, nor can it be, a comprehensive solution for the ills of capitalism.
  
   
Prout's Guaranteed Minimum Requirements
 
Prout will constitutionally guarantee that every individual be provided minimum requirements of food, clothing, shelter, education and medical care. Prout makes such provisions a central constitutional element to clarify that these are fundamental human rights, not the economic largess of politicians hoping to win voter support and thus subject to the vagaries of shifting political winds.
 
Unlike standard UBI proposals, Prout recognizes that all people must be guaranteed the full complement of resources needed for a healthy and productive life, not simply some income that may or may not be sufficient for mere survival.
 
Prout recognizes that the very definition of minimum requirements must vary according to circumstances. The needs of those in colder climates differ from those in warm climates, urban and rural residents have different costs of living and so on. Moreover, Prout insists that the definition of minimum requirements must be steadily increasing. Prout recognizes that in a healthy society everyone's standard of living must always be improving.
 
Prout provides for special compensation for its most productive members. Such compensation will often take a form that directly aids their work. At the same time, a Prout society will strive to constantly reduce the gap between minimum requirements and the maximum benefits bestowed on societies most productive members, while recognizing that a healthy economy and society requires some degree of inequality and material incentive.
 
Prout provides minimum requirements in the form of wages, not as an automatically provided entitlement. Such entitlements, however provided, always create a work disincentive. Additionally, satisfaction and self-esteem are derived from work. In a healthy society meaningful and appropriate work must be available for everyone, as must comprehensive education and training. Everyone must be afforded the opportunity to fully develop their capacity in whatever areas they manifest. This includes training and outlets for the work of artists in all media, writers, musicians, film makers, actors and so on.
 
Thus, Prout must guarantee 100% employment for all adults who are able to work. For those who are too sick, aged or otherwise incapable of working, for children and full-time students Prout will provide minimum requirements.
 
How can Prout provide 100% employment, steady growth, special compensation for its most productive members, support the arts, provide proper support for children, students, sick, aged and infirm when no economy to date has managed to accomplish these things?
 
In part 2, we explore some of the features that will allow Prout to provide economic outcomes that have, thus far, eluded every other society and economy on this planet.
 
 
               Proutists in Kolkata Are Saving Unborn Babies
A'ca'rya Acyuta'nanda Avadhu'ta
Courtesy of Ságnik, Kolkata.
This article is an excerpt of that which was published in the New Year’s 2017 Ságnik.
 
Some people who support abortion like to say that an unborn baby is “only a potential human being”. But that is mistaken. It is not a potential human being; rather, it is a human being with potential. It has many potentialities, but especially the potentiality for a fully-developed consciousness. Since it has that potentiality, killing it is equally as destructive as killing an already-born human being. Whether or not it is sometimes unavoidable is a separate topic. It is wrong if it is at all avoidable.
 
Nevertheless, in West Bengal alone, 1500 unborn children are killed by abortion every single day. In India it may be as many as 30,000 a day – 11 million every year. Around the world, according to the latest report, it may be more than 150,000 every day.
 
A few years back, some Proutists in Kolkata, thinking about this slaughter of their innocent, and completely helpless, little sisters and brothers, felt extremely pained. Unable to bear that pain in silence, they decided that they must stand up for those innocent little beings and refuse to accept the killing. At least in West Bengal, they would make an all-out effort to change the situation. Then they would see about other parts of India.
 
First to take the lead was Ujjwal Ghosh of Khardaha. He brought to this struggle his long experience organizing Amra Bangali events. He was soon joined by Saikat Ghosh, also of Khardaha, and Hitangshu and Swagata Banerjee of Behala. Many other Proutist sisters and brothers have come forward also, helping with postering and leafleting, and speaking at public events. Some WT didis and dadas have assisted also.
 
It was decided to try, at first, adopting a two-track approach:
 
1. An awareness campaign designed to show everyone that any unborn child, no matter how small or undeveloped, is a full-fledged member of our human family. People who are fully aware of the reality of the unborn child will never participate in aborting it.
 
2. A program of assistance in cash or kind for mothers and fathers who, in spite of financial hardship, resolve to shun abortion and to raise their child.

The awareness campaign has used posters, leaflets, and newspaper ads, and hopes some day to have sufficient funds for FM radio ads and a video on the Metro TV station. Three public events have been held so far; the biggest was a street-corner event last January 20 attended by more than thirty Proutists. Global Girls’ Proutists Secretary Avadhútiká Ánanda Gatimayá Ácáryá and several others addressed that gathering, and at the same time all of the public within range of the powerful loudspeakers. The most recent activity was a street-corner event last November 12 in Bagh Bazar - a popular market area.
 
The assistance program for parents depends, of course, on financial resources. The Proutists have very little capacity themselves, but have received a little in donations. Preparations are under way for fundraising from businesses and members of the public. Here is a photo of little Shreya, whose mother decided against abortion after she came in contact with the Proutists:

 

The Proutists are helping that unemployed mother, who was deserted by her husband, with a small amount of money every month. At the time of the photo, Shreya was only three-and-a-half months old. Now she is almost two years old, and she is walking and talking. By God’s grace, her physical, mental and spiritual progress, which would have been stopped after only sixteen weeks in the womb, were not stopped. They proceed ahead, carried on a wave of childish enthusiasm.
Prout News & Analysis is a monthly publication of the
Proutist Universal Global Office.
Publisher: Ac. Ambareshvarananda Avt.    Email:
contact@prout-global.org   

The views expressed in this newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of the editorial staff of
Prout News & Analysis.
Copyright © 2017, Proutist Universal, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this due to your interest in Prout and its implementation

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