Krishnagiri village gears up for thanksgiving' ceremony

Amma's free cattle scheme was game-changer, say residents.

KRISHNAGIRI: Devasamuthiram villagers in Krishnagiri district are gearing up to celebrate the former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s birthday falling on Friday (February 24), not for any political reason, but as ‘thanks giving’ for her free cattle scheme that improved their livelihood. “Our villager’s plan to observe Jayalalithaa’s birthday as thanks giving for the late Chief Minister for her free cattle scheme that improved our livelihood,” 36-year-old beneficiary K.Indira of Devasamuthiram told the Deccan Chronicle.

In Krishnagiri, 1,700 people including Indira were given free cattle at a cost of Rs 5.98 crore under the free cattle scheme introduced by Jayalalithaa for improving the socio- economic status of poor people in rural Tamil Nadu. “I would have begged for food if not given sheep’s under the scheme,” says 60-year-old widow M. Venkattamma, who is also native of evasamuthiram.

“Initially four sheep were given and they have multiplied to 15 in two years. Now, that supports for my livelihood though my four sons and a daughter deserted me after getting their shares in my husband’s property,” she went on to add. For 55-year-old D.Ranjitha, her plight was similar wherein she was chased out of the house after the death of her husband. But the free cattle scheme came to her help for a enabling a decent livelihood like that of Venkattama. “Now, my sons wish to rejoin me, not because they have realised their mistake but want my 15 sheep,” chuckles Ranjitha. The Krishnagiri collector C.Kathiravan, while explaining about the success of the project said the free cattle scheme was first introduced in 2012, after the late chief minister J.Jayalalithaa had announced the project during her previous tenure.

“The scheme was implemented at a cost of 38.48 crore in Krishnagiri district, with 26,841 people having benefited since 2012,” said Kathiravan. As many as 1,700 beneficiaries were given cows and 25,141 others received sheep under the free cattle scheme. Free medical camps were also conducted across the district for the well being of the animals given under the project. Besides, other farmers also benefited from the free medical camps for the cattle owned by the villagers. A sum of 6.72 crore was spent till the free medical camp project was announced in 2012. Another Rs 5.94 crore was spent for the construction of rural veterinary hospitals.

Under the fodder development scheme Rs. 1.47 crore have been spent so far to grow fodder crop in an extent of 1,700 acres across Krishnagiri district. Around 6,514 farmers benefited from the project, official sources said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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