Sunday, April 18, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes panels soon

Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes panels soon
Faizan Ahmad, TNN, Apr 18, 2010, 06.23am IST

PATNA: The state government will set up two separate commissions for
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes soon, said chief minister Nitish
Kumar here on Saturday.

Accepting the fourth report of the state Mahadalit commission, Nitish
said: "The decision has been taken and the process to form the
commissions is on." The NDA government's rivals had been demanding a
state SC and ST commission for sometime now.

Nitish, however, made it clear that the Mahadalit commission will
continue to function as it has its own utility. It is speculated that
the chairman of the SC commission will be from the Paswan caste.

The Mahadalit panel, in its fourth report, has made some
recommendations for the welfare of the Paswans or Dusadhs, the only
caste not accepted as Mahadalit. But it has stopped short of
recommending the inclusion of Paswans in that category.

"It has been suggested that the Paswans should also be extended the
facilities so far given to Mahadalits only," said state SC/ST welfare
secretary K P Ramaiah. He added that it has been recommended that
Paswans should also get three decimals of land for construction of
houses and school uniforms for children studying in classes I to IV.

Denying the allegation of diversion of fund meant for the welfare of
Mahadalits, Nitish accused Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan,
without naming him, of being against the uplift of the Dalits, who had
been socially neglected for long."He is not only against the
nomenclature, Mahadalit, but also against Mahadalits," the CM said.

Nitish further stated that a committee, headed by the chief secretary,
will be formed to study the panel's recommendations. It will give its
opinions which will be discussed by the cabinet before accepting the
recommendations. He said this procedure was adopted while accepting
the earlier recommendations, too.

The panel reported that though Paswans are politically strong, it
hardly made a difference to their socio-economic and educational
conditions. Apart from land and school uniform, the commission
recommneded that Paswans be given special training for the job of
security guards. Then, this caste could help to fill up the large
number of vacancies in the police force.

A memorial of former chief minister Bhola Paswan Shastri has been
suggested to be raised and his birthday be celebrated as a state
function. Altogether, 21 Dalit castes have been empanelled as
Mahadalits. They are Bantar, Bauri, Bhogta, Bhuia, Chaupal, Dabgar,
Dom/Dhangar, Ghasi, Halalkhor, Mehtar/Hari/Bhangi, Kanjar, Kuriar,
Lalbegi, Mushar, Nut, Pan-Swasi, Rajwar, Turi, Dhobi, Pasi and Chamar.

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