Give security to weaker sections, PM tells states

Give security to weaker sections, PM tells states

Give security to weaker sections, PM tells states

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a discussion with Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia at a inaugural session of the conference of state ministers of welfare/social justice in New Delhi on Monday.PTI He also asked the concerned authorities including the state governments to vigorously implement laws prohibiting atrocities against the SCs, STs and other vulnerable sections of the society. “Our first task is to provide physical security. Reports of atrocities against SCs, STs and senior citizens unfortunately continue to appear all over the country with disturbing regularity,” Singh said inaugurating the annual conference of State Welfare Ministers here.

He said he had already written to the Chief Ministers of all the States recently to enforce vigorously the provisions of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. “It is shocking that the conviction rate for cases of atrocities against SC/STs is less than 30 per cent against the average of 42 per cent for all cognisable offences under the IPC,” he said.

Asking the state governments to give more attention to this important issue Prime Minister said meetings of State and district Vigilance and Monitoring Committees should be held more regularly. Court cases should be pursued diligently and on priority basis.

Addressing the two-day conference, Singh said in view of drought like situation in many parts of the country it was necessary that the monitoring and implementation of schemes like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Annapurna and old age pension were stepped up.

Singh urged the National Institute of Design to encourage the design of everyday appliances and instruments that cater to the needs of people with various disabilities. “Central and State governments and the corporate sector need to work hand in hand so that persons with disabilities get employment opportunities,” he said. He also said that accessibility is a major issue for persons with disabilities and urged educational and healthcare institutions and other places to be made more user-friendly to the disadvantaged persons.

He said that a new scheme, the Pradhanmantari Aadarsh Gram Yojna is being implemented on pilot basis for integrated development of 1000 villages with more than 50 percent SC population.

“This scheme aims at convergent implementation of various development schemes in these villages, with an additionality of Rs 10 lakh per village to meet such of its basic requirements as cannot be met from the existing schemes. If the pilot scheme is successful we hope to be able to expand it,” he said.