Dalits are safest in Kerala: Ramdas Athawale

Nationally, 44,000 cases of violence against dalits are reported every year, says Athawale.

Thiruvananthapuram: Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment Ramdas Athawale said dalit atrocities were lowest in the state.

“Nationally, 44,000 cases of violence against dalits are reported every year. But here in Kerala, it is only 102. This shows that the government is doing well for the welfare of the scheduled caste and tribes in the state,” the minister said during a press conference here on Saturday.

Mr Athawale, who was in the state to review the performance of the Social Justice Department, met with senior officials of the Department on Saturday. The minister is in charge of scheduled caste, scheduled tribes, OBCs, the disabled and senior citizens. In all these areas, the minister was of the view that the state had performed well.

“Kerala has always been a progressive state,” Mr Athawale said.

The minister, however, said that BJP would come to power in the state in 2021, thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity.

“See what happened in Uttar Pradesh. The prediction was BJP would lose because of demonetization but, as it turned out, the party won big,” Mr Athawale, the leader of Republican Party of India (Athawale).

He also hinted that his party RPI(A) would fight in the next Assembly elections in the state.

He approved the election of new office-bearers for the state unit of the party on Saturday.

DISABLED-FRIENDLY BUILDINGS: Mr Athawale said that the Centre would soon tweak rules to make public buildings disabled-friendly.

The Centre had launched 'Accessible India' campaign in December 2015 to make 50 per cent of the buildings in each of state capitals accessible to disabled persons. In November 2016, the Supreme Court had pulled up the Centre for not acting on the promise.

The minister said that the disabled in the country would also be given an identity card that would facilitate easier access to government services. “A survey is already on for the purpose,” Mr Athawale said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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