Wasnik reviews rehab measures for manual scavengers, SC, disabled

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Srinagar – A high level meeting  of officers was today held under the Chairmanship of Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Mr. Mukul Wasnik and discussed various issues including rehabilitation  of Manual scavengers, Scheduled Castes and disabled persons.

Minister for Social Welfare Department, Ms Sakina Itoo was also present on the occasion.

The meeting discussed threadbare the status of rehabilitation of manual scavengers, reviewed the progress of the  schemes for disabled persons launched by the Central Government and implemented by the State Government  on the ground level.

On the occasion, Ms. Itoo requested the union Minister for funding liberally for the proposed welfare schemes taken for the rehabilitation of these people.. She said that from the last three years a number of measures have  already been taken for  upliftment of these communities as well as for eradicating manual scavenging  and letting them stand up on their feet and live  with dignity and honour.

The meeting was further told that all the District Magistrates and Municipal bodies have been directed to conduct a detailed survey regarding the presence of dry/insanitary latrines and also identify the individuals involved in manual scavenging and preparing of action plans for converting these insanitary latrines into sanitary ones as per guidelines of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

The meeting was also informed that under Integrated Low Cost Sanitation scheme(ILCS) 5900 Units have been sanctioned during 2009-10 in 56 Municipal Institutions at an approved cost of Rs.7.39 crore, against which an amount of Rs. 6.65 crore have been released in favour of the concerned Municipal institutions. Out of these 5900 ILCS units 3592 Units have been completed and 2258 Units are in process of completion.

Mr. Wasnik assured the meeting that there would be liberal funding for all the proposed welfare schemes launched by the State Government for upliftment and rehabilitation of this neglected lot and added there is no shortage of funds for the welfare of these communities. He asked the State authorities to survey afresh and see if there is still any such case of manual scavenging going as it is banned now and in the near future there will be strict law and the action would be taken against those who still are involved in this inhuman act.

Later, the Minister in another meeting reviewed the schemes launched for the development of Scheduled Castes. The meeting was informed that Housing and Urban Development Department and SC/ST and BC Development Corporation are running some schemes for the benefit of this community. It was said in the meeting that under Social Welfare sector, monthly pension is being provided to more than 5 lakhs people who belong to downtrodden and BPL families. It was further told that for the advancement of children belonging to poor families including SC and other pahari speaking people, scholarship facility has been given to near about 3 lakh students from pre-metric to Ph. D level. It was told in the meeting that BPL, SC and BC category people are being benefited under Bank Tie up scheme, direct financing schemes, educational loan scheme and skill development/training programmes.

It was also told in the meeting that for the benefit of disabled persons, the State Government is running various schemes through CRC and Directorate of Social Welfare schemes. Under present schemes facilities like artificial limbs, trycycles and hearing aids are given to them, besides, monthly financial assistance is also being given to them.

Union Joint Secretary, Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment, Pankaj Joshi, Commissioner-Secretary, Social Welfare Department, Jeet Lal Gupta, Director Social Welfare Kashmir, Bashir Ahmad Bhat and Managing Director, SC/ST & BC Development Corporation were present in these meeting.

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