Congress MP and Huzurnagar candidate N. Uttam Kumar Reddy
Hyderabad: Congress MP and Huzurnagar candidate N. Uttam Kumar Reddy came down heavily on the BRS government for its alleged apathy towards the welfare of women's self-help groups (SHGs).
Addressing a gathering of women associated with SHGs in Huzurnagar on Monday, Reddy ridiculed the abrupt halt of the Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA) funds by the BRS government. He said the government owed Rs 4,250 crore to these groups. This includes the non-payment of Rs 2,200 crore in interest to 3.85 lakh SHGs in rural areas and Rs 750 crore to 1.52 lakh SHGs in urban areas.
He accused the BRS government of diverting Rs 360 crore of Abhaya Hastam funds, meant for providing pensions to SHG members, for other purposes. This, he asserted, is a clear indication of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao's lack of commitment to women's welfare and empowerment.
Expressing confidence that the Congress will win the Assembly elections, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the next government would revive schemes like Abhay Hastham for SHG groups.
About 52 lakh women are associated with nearly 4.5 lakh SHGs in rural areas, while 15 lakh women are members of 1.5 lakh SHGs in urban areas. Uttam Kumar Reddy assured that the next Congress government would take measures for the economic empowerment of nearly 70 lakh members of SHGs in the state.
He appealed to the women to teach a fitting lesson to Rao, who had humiliated women SHGs on multiple occasions. He said that the Congress government will give Rs 2,500 monthly financial assistance to women, gas cylinders at Rs 500 and free travel for women in TSRTC buses across the state.