Dalit backwardness blamed on fund diversion
Monday, 29 August 2011
Hyderabad, August 29: Funds allocated every year for the
socio-economic development of Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes is
being diverted by upper-class officials to public-private partnership
projects, D Raja, member of the parliamentary committee on SC/ST
welfare, has said.
Speaking at a conference on 'SCSP and TSP with Media' conducted by the
Centre for Dalit Studies here on Sunday, he said Dalits and Adivasis
were living in the hope that they could see their communities'
socio-economic development in their lifetime if the Schedule Castes
Sub Plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub Plan (TSP), which were to have been
implemented since 1980, were taken up in right earnest at least now.
The diversion of funds, which Raja equated with corruption, was taking
place because Dalits and Adivasis had no voice, he said, and alleged
further that Dalits and Adivasis were not being given opportunities in
the projects as the projects were partially privatised.
'More than 50 percent of the funds are diverted every year.
Government officials, who are diverting the funds, are doing corruption.
They should be punished by the government," he said and urged the
government to accord serious consideration to the SCSP and TSP
(previously known as Special Component Plan) and other special
assistance provided by the Centre for Dalits and Adivasis.
Mallepally Laxmaiah, senior journalist and founder of CDS, said the
central and state governments were to allocate funds for SCSP and TSP
in proportion to the population of Dalits and Adivasis with priority
to education, public health and employment.
KS Chalam, former member of Union Public Service Commission, said
Dalits did not have land not only for their living but also for
burying the dead.
Dalits and Adivasis were only seeking their rightful share of the
nation's wealth and not of others, he said.
Allam Narayana, chief editor of Namaste Telangana, appealed to the
media to take up the Dalit and Adivasi cause.
Ramachandra Murthy, director of HMTV and chief editor of The Hans
India, said there was no unity among their representatives, who number
a few, in the government.
Indian Journalists Union secretary-general Devulapalli Amar said
Dalits and Adivasis had had no strong leaders in the 64 years of free
India to represent them in the Assemblies or Parliament and to
question governments' misddeds such as diversion of funds.
S Vinay Kumar, chief editor of Prajashakti, also spoke.
Representatives of Dalits and Adivasis, and eminent mediapersons attended.
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