Hyderabad: Close on the heels of the announcement of the path-breaking ‘Telangana Dalit Bandhu’ for empowerment of Dalits in the State, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Friday announced another major initiative – Chenetha Bima – for the welfare of weavers’ community in the State.
The insurance scheme will be launched once the modalities of implementation are finalised, the Chief Minister said, after welcoming BJP leader and former Minister E Peddi Reddy and leaders from the weavers’ community into the TRS fold at Telangana Bhavan, the party headquarters here.
Stating that a lot needs to be done for various communities, the Chief Minister reiterated that Dalit Bandhu would be implemented in a phased manner. “The government will continue on the path of development that it has adopted. The State is moving on the right path and has a bright future. This is also evident from the announcements made by the Central government in Parliament during the ongoing Monsoon session about Telangana emerging as the top State in one field or the other,” he said.
Explaining in detail the massive exercise carried out by the Agriculture Department for over a year before implementing Rythu Bandhu and Rythu Bima, the Chief Minister said families of deceased farmers were receiving the insurance amount of Rs 5 lakh under the scheme within 10 days. “Similarly, I have asked the officials to soon work out a system for effective implementation of Chenetha Bima,” he said.
He said he also asked SC Welfare Minister Koppula Eshwar to carry out a similar exercise for the welfare of Dalits who are economically backward and facing societal discrimination and those who were unable to avail the benefits of various schemes. “The State government, in a planned manner, has been implementing schemes, and this is happening only in Telangana which was achieved after 60 years of struggle and several sacrifices. After State formation, there was a lot of negative talk, but the State government introduced several welfare schemes, some of which are unheard of anywhere in the world. Prior to 2014, many people did not believe that Telangana would be a separate State, but it happened,” the Chief Minister said.
“After formation of Telangana in 2014, I said TRS will form the government and asked the manifesto committee chairman Kadiam Srihari and former IAS officer AK Goel as to why only Rs 200 was being given as pension,” he said. “I asked them whether the amount was sufficient and why it was given and the reasons behind it,” he said, making it clear that the pension should at least ensure that the beneficiary can afford two square meals a day.
“Subsequently, Goel calculated the amount and informed me that Rs 670 would be sufficient, but I asked him to make the pension amount Rs 1,000,” Chandrashekhar Rao said, adding that all the moves that he made were calculated and taken after giving it a lot of thought and exercising caution to ensure welfare and development of the State in the early days of State formation.
Pointing out that there were no dharnas seeking welfare schemes or demands from any section of society, the Chief Minister said the TRS government, however, identified societal needs and introduced various welfare schemes for the overall development of society. “The Dalit Bandhu scheme also evolved as a part of this ongoing exercise,” he said.
“Can anyone stop it? Once KCR decides, it will be implemented 100 per cent,” he said, amid applause from the gathering. With Dalits accounting for 18 to 19 per cent of the population, Dalit Bandhu should be regarded as a ‘Maha Yagnam,’ he said, and sought the support of all sections in implementing the scheme to resolve the problems of Dalits, who, he said, should not be discriminated since in the long run, it would have adverse impact.
The State government, he said, was ready to spend even Rs 1 lakh crore on the scheme.
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