More often than not – one person’s insanity is another person’s reality. Reliably, the Obama Cell Phone started with a shrill voiced angry woman who was present at the Ohio rally for the republican presidential aspirant. When she passed a crude comment on Romney and asked as to why she supported Obama’s candidature, she instantaneously spelt out a positive benefits list and added that all the minority residents of Cleveland had received free Obama Phones and hence Obama had to remain president since he had given them the phones. This particular video was flashed on the Internet and paved way for a highly debated but inspirational, Obama Phone.
There was an unique program, way back in 1984 called the, Federal Communications Commission that distributed land line phones to the low income people under a scheme popularly known as, Life Line Assistance. This Commission has undergone innumerable changes over the years and today there are not only state sponsored telephone welfare benefits to the needy but also Federal Life Line Assistance in association with Assurance Wireless that is distributing free cell phones to people categorized as those living below the Federal poverty line and people enrolled under various recognized programs such as old age pension, aid to blind, aid to needy and disabled etc. This being the real scenario, Barack Obama had nothing to do with, ‘The Obama Phone’. It was just an outburst of a fanatic, if she may be called so, that resulted in the Obama Phone episode.
As a sequel to the fact mentioned earlier, a significant move was initiated in 2008 under the Life Line Package wherein Cell phone service were distributed under subsidized rates. On evaluation, it was also felt that providing cell phones was definitely far cheaper than installation and servicing of landline phones. Though the eligibility norms varied from state to state, poverty criteria and enrollment in a variety of welfare programs qualified automatically for subsidies on cell phones. The affluent had to fund this program by paying a surcharge on their monthly cell phone charges.
Though president, Barrack Obama was neither directly or indirectly involved with any of the cell phone welfare programs, fortunately of if so, he received a lot of mileage from a series of emails and videos circulated at the beginning of 2009. Even to this day, the Obama Phone is a rage and craze among a section of people in America. It is beyond general understanding as to how so many people at large have blindly accredited a Government’s Welfare program with Obama. False messages that president Obama would pay the telephone & mobile bills and also electricity bills was also doing rounds but it is only expected that people do not give in to such phonies.
To fight out unemployment and to empower the economically poor and people enrolled under various socially significant programs are now provided with cell phones free with 250 voice and text messaging benefits. Study has revealed that the employment opportunities have increased and people are now in a position to be accessible to and communicate with prospective employers.
It does not matter if someone yells out, “I have an Obama Phone with me’. But common sense would prevail but earnestly the needy should take benefit of this Government program to improve their status and social standing.