Caste' clause in Kanti Velugu applications draw flak

HYDERABAD: Applications for the state government’s ongoing Kanti Velugu programme, which facilitates free eye test and medical aid and facilities, has a clause that mandates mention of the applicant’s caste. In fact, applications in which this clause is left blank are rejected by the computer.

This ‘caste’ clause has drawn flak from several quarters as the initiative is applicable to all sections of people. They contend that only columns for name, age, gender, Aadhaar number, address and mobile number should be compulsory.

Incidentally, the intention of the ongoing programme, which started on January 18 and will continue till April 30 has been appreciated as not only are eye checkup camps and treatment conducted at one’s doorstep but even spectacles that are recommended are given free of cost.

According to V. Padmanabha Reddy, secretary Forum for Good Governance, “This is a government health policy and every individual is eligible for the checkup and subsequent medical aid. The caste column is unnecessary. We urge the government to remove this from the application forms.”

Meanwhile, a senior official from the department of health and family welfare, said “casts is basically for identifying if marginalised sections are availing the benefits or not. They are more prone to eye-related health issues.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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