Khammam: Telangana Dalit Bandhu scheme was a revolutionary initiative by the State government aimed at empowering Dalits financially and socially, Transport Minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar said on Tuesday.
Speaking to media persons here, he thanked Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao for his decision to implement the scheme on a pilot basis in Chintakani mandal in the district. “It is a great opportunity to uplift Dalits in the mandal,” he said.
Steps would be taken to implement the government’s flagship programme to benefit all eligible Dalits irrespective of their political affiliations. ‘The scheme is a humanitarian gesture by the government and it would change the lives of dalits,” Ajay Kumar said.
An amount of Rs 450 crore would be spent on the scheme implementation by grounding around 4000 business units. One district officer would be appointed as a nodal officer for each of the 26 gram panchayats in the mandal.
Village, mandal, constituency and district level committees would be constituted within a week’s time for the scheme’s implementation. The officials were told to tour the villages in the mandal to study conditions of the Dalits so that they could guide Dalits in selecting suitable enterprises.
The government planned to promote entrepreneurship among Dalits who have traditional skills but lacked finances to set up enterprises. There was no bank linkage or margin money and Rs 10 lakh would be totally free and there was no need to repay it.
Officials were asked to explain to the beneficiaries that there would be no middlemen and the committees and the nodal officers would work in coordination with each other for the effective implementation of the scheme.
The government also set up ‘Dalit Rakshana Nidhi’ to address any emergency issues concerning the beneficiaries. The government would deposit Rs 10,000 as a matching grant to the equal share of the beneficiaries, Ajay Kumar said.
District Collector VP Gautham who held a review meeting on the day with officials informed that there were as many as 4, 719 Dalit families in the mandal. As per comprehensive household survey, around 60 per cent of the Dalits in the mandal were in poor financial conditions.
Nearly 1644 families owned below one acre land each, while around 400 families owned an extent of one to two acres land each while the other families were landless.
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