Thursday, December 10, 2009

[ZESTCaste] State can't develop without taking care of downtrodden: Nitish

State can't develop without taking care of downtrodden: Nitish

Updated on Thursday, December 10, 2009, 18:31 IST

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday said that no
state could develop if the interests of the downtrodden were ignored.

Inaugurating a loan distribution ceremony organized by Scheduled Caste
Cooperative Development Corporation at S K Memorial hall here, Kumar
said the state government had launched a major drive to abolish the
practice of manual scavenging by rehabilitating all those people
engaged in the inhuman practice of carrying night soil on their heads
from dry toilets.

We are identifying each individual engaged in manual scavenging and
providing them loans upto Rs 30000 to women under Mahila Samridhi
Yojna to take up any alternative profession. While the government
would ensure bank loans upto Rs 17,500 the rest amount (Rs.12,500)
would be made available to them as subsidy by the state government,
Kumar said.

Similar facilities are also being made available to male members of
this section of the society under micro credit financing scheme.

So far the state government had distributed over Rs 13.54 crore among
46,515 beneficiaries.

Kumar expressed his displeasure over negative participation of
commercial banks in rehabilitating the scavengers and said that his
government has fixed 2010 as the deadline to rehabilitate all the
families engaged in carrying night soil on their heads.

"I have directed the district magistrates and block level officers to
coordinate with bank officials to provide loans to scavengers on a
priority basis as the state was committed to eradicate this demeaning
profession," Kumar said.

He asked the Secretary of SC/ST Welfare department to write a letter
to the Centre with a request to direct the bankers to grant loans to
people from Dalit community engaged in the degrading work to take up
other profession.

Replying to Bihar minister for SC/ST development Jitan Ram Manjhi's
demand that SC/ST Development Corporation should be accorded state
guarantee for term loan, Kumar asked the minister to come out with a
proposal and if required the law would be amended to provide state
guarantee to the Commission.

The function was also addressed by members of the state Mahadalit commission.


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