Huzurabad has a total of around 21,000 Dalit families and the constituency has been chosen for the scheme to be launched on a pilot project basis.

CM KCR with folded hands and people in the background
news Welfare Scheme Monday, July 19, 2021 - 19:57

Just as election fever is setting in, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has used a trump card, ahead of the Huzurabad bye polls in Telangana. CM KCR named the Dalit empowerment scheme that was decided by the cabinet recently as Telangana Dalita Bandhu scheme and chose to launch the scheme on a ‘pilot project’ basis in poll-bound Huzurabad constituency. The scheme, which was to be called Dalit Empowerment Scheme, has now been renamed as Dalita Bandhu scheme. As part of the scheme, eligible Dalit families would be given Rs 10 lakh in cash directly to their accounts.  

KCR’s decision to launch the scheme in Huzurabad is being touted as a masterstroke. While CM KCR’s former ally Eatala Rajender is going all out to woo voters in the constituency representing the BJP, the Congress workers are hoping to make it big under the leadership of their newly elected Chief Revanth Reddy. With this announcement, TRS too is now diving nose first into election mode.

Speaking to TNM, Kancha Illaiah Shepherd, a political theorist and Dalit activist welcomed the move and said, “Giving money to Dalits is a welcome move. Giving is always better than not giving anything. More than calling it the Dalita Bandhu scheme, Vote Bandhu scheme would have been more apt.”

On Sunday night, a note from the Chief Minister’s office announced the name of the scheme and other details of the pilot project. Hoping to silence questions about the choice of poll-bound Huzurabad to launch the scheme, the note stated that in the past as well CM KCR chose combined Karimnagar district to launch the Simha Garjana Sabha which was the preamble for the separate statehood movement, the Rythu Bima scheme and the Rhythu Bandhu scheme. Continuing the same tradition, Chief Minister was advised to launch the Telangana Dalita Bandhu scheme from Huzurabad.     

Though the date of the launch of the scheme is yet to be announced, it has been decided that the enumeration process regarding the status and situation of Dalit families in the Huzurabad constituency will soon begin. Following this, the government will then decide about the modalities of the scheme.

Poll-bound Huzurabad constituency has five mandals and the total number of Dalit families in this constituency stands at 20,929. All these families will be scrutinised before the final beneficiary list is made. All those found eligible will be extended the benefits of the scheme. Huzurabad constituency has only a total of around 2 lakh voters. Out of the total, CM KCR’s scheme will benefit nearly 21,000 families, which accounts for around 60,000 to 80,000 people, if this scheme is implemented soon.

Interestingly, the CM had said that all over the state the Dalita Bandhu scheme will be implemented as decided earlier with Rs 1200 crore. However, in poll-bound Huzurabad, the CM has now said that an additional Rs 1500 to Rs 2000 crore would be spent in the constituency on the scheme. Which means, the government plans to spend in Huzurabad, for this scheme, an amount more than what had been allotted for the welfare of Dalits across the state. It was also decided that based on the experiences and feedback in Huzurabad, it will be decided if any changes need to be made in the Dalita Bandhu scheme. Considering there are around 21,000 Dalit families in Huzuranagar, even if 20,000 is found to be eligible, the government would be spending Rs 2000 crores to implement the scheme in the constituency.

Kancha Illaiah felt that CM KCR’s new scheme shouldn’t have left out the STs as both SCs and STs are backward and deserve to be helped. He said, “The new scheme promises money to SCs, even the STs should have been considered. It is a good thing that money is being given into the accounts of the people. But a couple of important factors to be looked into is, whose account will the money go into? It would be better if it was given into the woman’s account in every family.”

Kancha Illaiah also felt that CM KCR should have taken a leaf out of Jagan’s Amma Vodi scheme wherein he gives money to families if they educate their children. “There should always be a supporting intention for providing money. Like Jagan is providing money to those who educate their children. What is KCR’s intention of providing money? He wants people to drink with the money? While we welcome the decision to give money, the scheme would have had more meaning if it was linked to an intention like food, education etc.”  

According to the government, the Dalita Bandhu scheme will have three segments. While the first segment will be about monitoring the implementation of the scheme, the second will be to evaluate the results and the third segment would be to create a safety fund for the beneficiaries. If anything happens suddenly to the beneficiary, help would be extended from this fund.

The government hopes, through this scheme, to elevate the Dalit families in the state. The CM has directed officials to put their heart and soul with commitment and dedication to effectively implement this scheme. The CM has directed that officials should not act like officials but instead act as facilitators and coordinators.

In what can be considered a major outreach to the Dalit community ahead of the poll, CM KCR said that it is important for the Dalits to believe that there is a government that cares about them. “Dalits have lost faith about their development due to the faulty policies implemented by the past rulers. Their mistrust should be removed. There is a responsibility on us to make the Dalits believe that the government is thinking about them and their development. We have to repose faith in them. There is a need to give proper guidance and implement and monitor the Dalita Bandhu scheme,” the CM said.

It has also been decided that, like the Rythu Bandhu scheme, the Dalita Bandhu scheme would be directly put into their accounts. 

READ: Telangana Congress alleges Rs 1000 cr scam in Kokapet land auction, seeks CBI probe

Topic tags,
Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.