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‘Dalit Bandhu scheme to bring new light in their lives’

The ambitious scheme under which every Dalit beneficiary family will be provided Rs 10 lakh, would be rolled out on Monday on a pilot basis in Huzurabad constituency.

IANS | Hyderabad |

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday said the ‘Dalit Bandhu’ scheme launched by his government to financially empower Dalits and thereby free them from social discrimination will bring a new light in their lives.

The ambitious scheme under which every Dalit beneficiary family will be provided Rs 10 lakh, would be rolled out on Monday on a pilot basis in Huzurabad constituency.

Rao spoke in detail about the scheme during his Independence Day speech at the Golconda Fort in state capital Hyderabad.

Calling the ‘Dalit Bandhu’ scheme a movement, the Chief Minister announced that the scheme will be implemented partially in other constituencies of the state. The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) government has already earmarked funds for the welfare scheme in the state Budget.

He said since Dalits were not satisfied with limited support such as small loans and subsidies provided to them by previous state governments, his government has decided to give Rs 10 lakh of financial support to each Dalit family to set up a unit under ‘Dalit Bandhu’ scheme.

KCR, as Rao is popularly known, said it was a naked truth that from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, Dalits were living under abject poverty but Telangana was an exception to this.

“Entire Dalit community is suffering not only from poverty but also from social discrimination from generations together. Even after 75 years of Independence, we should all accept the harsh truth that darkness looms large over lives of Dalits,” Rao added.

The government will deposit Rs 10 lakh directly into the bank account of the beneficiary without any linkage with the banks and any burden of repayment.

“This will ensure that the beneficiary does not have to worry about how to pay the instalments. The beneficiary will be able to continue his livelihood with peace of mind,” he said.

KCR said the beneficiary will have full freedom to choose employment and business with the investment money provided by the ruling TRS government. If any of the beneficiaries are in dilemma in choosing employment himself and requests the government for suggestions, then they will guide them accordingly. The government is also giving the opportunity to beneficiaries to form a group and set up a big unit.

The Telangana government will also implement special reservations for Dalits to promote them in various business sectors like setting up fertilisers, medical shops, hospitals, hostels, contracts of supplying commodities, other government contracts and for a license to set up wine and bar shops.

If the family which benefited from the ‘Dalit Bandhu’ scheme faces any hardship over time, the government has contemplated Dalit Protection Fund to shield them. Of the Rs 10 lakh given by the state government to every beneficiary, Rs 10,000 will be deposited under the share of the beneficiary and another Rs 10,000 will be added by the government and will be preserved under the Dalit Protection Fund.

KCR said a special comprehensive policy has been introduced for monitoring the results received by the farmers through the Dalit Bandhu scheme.

The beneficiaries will be provided identity cards, which will have a special chip installed to monitor the results.

The Chief Minister exuded confidence that Dalit Bandhu will show a way to the country and hence will create history as a brilliant scheme to change the lives of Dalits. He said the scheme will enable the Dalits who have been discriminated against to become businessmen and industrialists and live with self-respect in society.

He claimed that the TRS government is creating new standards with the Dalit Bandhu scheme in the pursuit of values of equality enshrined in the Constitution.