HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao said the state government wanted to allocate adequate funds every year in the budget for the Dalit Bandhu scheme from next financial year (2022-23). He said the amount would be sufficient to cover two lakh Dalit families every year at the rate of Rs 10 lakh to each family, adding that the government had plans to extend the scheme to other castes in a phased manner.
The Chief Minister held a preparatory meeting at Pragathi Bhavan on Monday to discuss on extending the Dalit Bandhu scheme to four more mandals covering five Assembly constituencies on a pilot basis in addition to the existing Huzurabad Assembly constituency in Karimnagar district and Vasalamarri village in Bhongir district, where the pilot programme was already launched and Rs 2,007 crore released in August.
It was decided to release the Dalit Bandhu funds in the next two-three weeks in the newly-identified mandals, namely Chintakani in Madhira constituency, Tirmalgiri in Tungaturthy, Charakonda mandal in Achampet and Kalwakurthy constituencies and Nizam Sagar in Jukkal constituency.
Ministers, ZP chairpersons, collectors from the four districts of Khammam, Nalgonda, Mahbubnagar and Nizamabad, MLAs from Madhira, Tungaturthy, Achampet, Kalwakurty, Jukkal constituencies, SC welfare minister Koppula Eswar, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, SC development secretary, Chief Minister’s secretary Rahul Bojja, finance secretary K. Ramakrishna Rao were invited for this meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said, "Initially, we want to begin with sufficient funds in the budget every year from 2022-23 to implement the Dalit Bandhu scheme across the state. If the state government's financial condition permits and improves in future, these allocations will also be increased accordingly. We want all castes and religions to be
covered under the scheme in a phased manner."
Rao urged all castes and religions to cooperate for the successful implementation of the Dalit Bandhu for the upliftment of Dalits saying that Dalits were the only section of the society who were not only languishing in absolute poverty but also facing social discrimination for ages.
"When the Telangana government started extending schemes like Rythu Bandhu and Rythu Bima to all sections, Dalits never opposed. Now all other castes should extend the same cooperation for Dalit Bandhu," Rao urged.
Since majority of the Dalits are opting for setting up dairy units utilising the Dalit Bandhu amount, the Chief Minister directed Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar to arrange a joint meeting of SC welfare department, animal husbandry department and government cooperative dairies to devise measures on making this business viable for Dalits.
Madhira MLA and CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka showered praises on the Chief Minister for selecting a mandal in his constituency for implementing the Dalit Bandhu scheme irrespective of political affiliations or discrimination.
Bhatti said nowhere in the country except Telangana a scheme like Dalit Bandhu was being implemented to extend Rs 10 lakh cash benefit to each Dalit family.