The Telangana government has decided to provide financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh each to 11,900 Scheduled Caste beneficiaries in the state, with 100 families selected from each of the 119 assembly constituencies.
An all-party meeting, convened by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday, decided to earmark Rs 1,200 crore for the CM Dalit Empowerment Programme and credit the financial assistance directly to the bank accounts of the selected beneficiaries.
The CM's outreach came in the backdrop of the alleged custodial death of a Dalit woman in Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri district recently. A 40-year-old woman, A Mariyamma, a domestic help in the house of a local church priest, was arrested on June 17 on charges of theft of Rs 2 lakh. She was reportedly assaulted by the Addagatur police and died on June 18.
A delegation of Congress leaders had met the CM last week to discuss the issue. The meeting on Sunday consisted of legislators and party leaders from the SC community.
Stating that that Dalits are still being subjected to social and economic discrimination, CM Rao said his government would implement a phased action plan to eliminate the problems of Dalits. Under the Dalit Empowerment Programme, eligible poor Dalit beneficiaries would be given assistance without any bank guarantees, Rao said.
The Chief Minister instructed officials to prepare an economic action plan for upliftment of the SCs, adding that the TRS government is ready to spend Rs 35,000-40,000 crore over the next three to four years for the purpose.