Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Monday invited Dalit intellectuals to give appropriate suggestions and sought their participation in formulating the action plan for the Chief Minister’s Dalit Empowerment scheme to be implemented with about Rs 40,000 crore including Rs 1,200 crore in the first phase. He said the State government was working in good faith to uplift Dalits in Telangana on all fronts and bring about a qualitative change in their lives.
The Dalit intellectuals and professors called on the Chief Minister at Pragathi Bhavan and thanked him for announcing the first phase of the CM Dalit Empowerment scheme. They also appreciated his swift action in response to the custodial death of Mariyamma which had boosted the morale of Dalits. Among those who met him were the representatives of Dalit organisations like SCST National Intellectuals Forum, Madiga Intellectuals Forum, Madiga Educators Forum, Osmania University Non-Teaching Staff Welfare Association and others.
Speaking on the occasion, Chandrashekhar Rao explained that the State government was addressing the challenges in every sector in a phased manner. After putting irrigation and agriculture sectors on track, the government had also strengthened the rural administration and economy. Many development and welfare schemes are also being implemented. “Along with all others, the lives of many Dalits have also transformed due to these measures. However, we must do something better to uplift Dalits and ensure their socio-economic empowerment to end centuries of discrimination,” he said.
In addition to the Rs 40,000 crore to be spent on the Dalit Empowerment scheme, the government has also decided to set up a corpus fund in the future. Further, the all-party meeting convened with the participation of all the political parties in the State had also decided to provide financial assistance directly to the beneficiary to prevent middlemen and bring transparency in its implementation. In this context, the Chief Minister invited the Dalit intelligentsia, professors, academicians, employees and professionals to be partners in achieving the goal. He had proposed convening a day-long workshop to discuss the measures to be taken for Dalit empowerment and set an example for the entire nation.
Pointing out that the issues being faced by the Dalits varied from villages to towns and cities, Chandrashekhar Rao said it was important for the intellectuals to understand these issues and come up with permanent solutions. He emphasised the need to implement Dalit Empowerment Scheme effectively and overcome the challenges to achieve desired results. “We need two inputs — economic and planning, for effective implementation of the scheme. As well planned is half job done, we must design the scheme properly and strengthen it further during implementation,” he said. Apart from creating a supportive mechanism, he is likely to consult more stakeholders before finalising the modalities of the scheme.
The Dalit organisations and intellectuals who called on the Chief Minister thanked him for announcing the CM Dalit Empowerment scheme which will be a boon for the entire Dalit community in the State and bring a revolutionary change in their lives. They appreciated the government’s commitment towards implementing the scheme notwithstanding the financial burden on the State exchequer.
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