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Centre accused by Kerala CM of hostile approach towards Dalits

Centre accused by Kerala CM of hostile approach towards Dalits

Kannur: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan accused the BJP-led Centre on Saturday of taking a 'hostile approach' to the country's Dalit minority, citing the suspension of scholarship funds for students from the marginalised sector as one of the explicit examples.

He stated that the state's Left government has implemented many projects to achieve societal justice as well as the socio-cultural and economic upliftment of Dalit and tribal people.

Apart from improving the living standards of the backward communities, the state government is also trying to root out the inhuman caste system prevailing in society, the CM further said.

Vijayan was speaking at the Chief Minister's Face-to-Face Program with people belonging to the tribal and Dalit communities in the northern district.

Detailing various measures being implemented by his government for the upliftment of the children belonging to the backward sections, he accused the Centre of neglecting them.

"The Central government is adopting a hostile approach towards the Dalit community. A clear example of this is the stopping of the scholarship amount for them," he added.

However, the state government had not stopped the scheme by pointing to the Centre's stand, he explained.

Instead, the state government has decided to provide the complete amount for the post-matric scholarship for the SC/ST students belonging to families with an income above Rs 2. 5 lahks and for the scholarship of the backward class students up to eighth standard, he added.

"It's a social commitment. All these are proof of concern and care the state government has towards the marginalised sections of the community," the CM further said.

Pointing out that those belonging to the SC/ST communities have been left far behind in social progress due to historical reasons, Vijayan said those reasons were imposed upon society by the 'chaturvarnya' and priestly systems with vested interests.

Throwing away those inequalities has been the greatest responsibility of modern society, Vijayan said, adding Kerala has been able to accomplish that to a great extent.

"Our declared policy is to provide land and housing to all landless and homeless people belonging to SC, ST and adivasi communities by 2025," he explained.

A total of 1,40,121 houses, including 98,317 for SC and 41,804 for ST people, have been completed since the present government came to power in the southern state, he further said.

The interventions to enable children from historically disadvantaged groups to face the challenges of the modern era have already begun by the state government, the Left veteran said.

"The government is effectively intervening to send them to foreign universities and enable them to get good jobs both at home and abroad and thus to make them active participants in the creation of a knowledge society," he said.

Under the Foreign Education Programme being implemented in the state, 425 students belonging to the SC, ST and other backward classes have been given the opportunity to study in various foreign universities so far, he pointed out.

An amount of Rs 10 lakh to 25 lakh is given as a scholarship under the scheme, he added.

Stating that the standard of living of various backward communities is much better in Kerala than in other states, Vijayan said his government is trying to improve it further through various initiatives.

However, he cautioned against some tendencies to subvert these achievements made by the state.

"Attempts are being made to inject superstition, untouchability and so on into our public awareness. We must be very careful against these tendencies," the Chief Minister added.

With PTI inputs

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TAGS:Kerala CMcentral govt
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