KCR is new age Ambedkar: SC panel chief

Dalit Bandhu is the biggest cash transfer scheme in the country though which Rs 10 lakh will be directly given to the poor Dalit families

KARIMNAGAR: The Telangana government’s latest flagship programme, the Dalit Bandhu, introduced just ahead of Huzurabad bypolls not only received appreciation from various Dalit societies, but drew severe criticism from the leaders of Opposition at the same time.

The Chief Minister launched the scheme in his adopted village Vasalamarri and later the state government released funds Rs 500 crore for implementing the scheme in Huzurabad constituency which was selected under the pilot project.

We spoke to the newly-appointed chairman of the Scheduled Caste Corporation, Banda Srinivas.


Q. What is the motto behind introducing Dalit Bandhu all of a sudden by the state government?

Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao always strove hard for uplifting the weaker sections. He was committed to the welfare of the Dalits in the state. So, to empower the people belonging to Scheduled Castes and with an aim to take Dalit families from their present situation to higher levels, Chandrashekar Rao introduced the scheme. A lot of brain work was involved before introducing the scheme.

Q. How is the government going to select beneficiaries?

The government has released some guidelines for the selection of beneficiaries. Following the guidelines, the officials concerned are selecting the beneficiaries in a fair and transparent manner.

Q. There are allegations that only TRS workers who belong to Dalit community are given preference as a beneficiary even though some are not eligible?

The selection process of beneficiaries under the Dalit Bandhu scheme was handed over to officials. By visiting various villages and after conducting a thorough survey, the officials are selecting the beneficiaries. If any ineligible person was selected by mistake, then his/her name will be deleted after scrutiny before finalising the list.

Q. How is the government going to justify when more than one beneficiary selects the same unit?

Dalit Bandhu is the biggest cash transfer scheme in the country though which Rs 10 lakh will be directly given to the poor Dalit families for establishing various units. Then the government will suggest that they collaborate with each other by forming a group so that they can set up bigger units like medical shops, fertilizer shops, rice mills, wine shops etc.

Q. What is Dalit security fund?

The Dalit Bandhu scheme was beautifully designed by the Chief Minister. Along with providing financial assistance, the government is about to create a corpus in the name of Dalit security fund to support the beneficiaries permanently.

Q. How many beneficiaries are going to be selected in Huzurabad constituency under the pilot project?

As per the guidelines issued by the state government, the officials are going to select as many as 20,929 beneficiaries from Huzurabad constituency under the Dalit Bandhu scheme. Chandrashekar Rao announced Rs 2,000 crore to implement the scheme under the pilot project and sanctioned Rs 500 crore.

Q. During the Chief Minister’s visit to Huzurabad on August 16, how many beneficiaries will be given cheques?

A. The officials are finalising the list. As many as 2,000 Dalit families have been selected. How many members are going to receive cheques on August 16 during the Chief Minister’s visit to Huzurabad will be decided later. All the necessary arrangements were made for bringing the beneficiaries to the meeting area. The remaining beneficiaries will be given the cheques from the very next day onwards by visiting their villages.

Q. What response have you received from the people about Dalit Bandhu scheme?

A. People are feeling happy and are expressing gratitude to the Chief Minister. They are treating Rao as a modern age Dr. Ambedkar. Unlike any other leader, Rao not only thought of the wellbeing of people of Dalit communities but also introduced a special scheme for uplifting them.

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