Hyderabad: The Telangana government's flagship programme 'Dalit Bandhu Scheme' will get Rs. 17,700 crore for the financial year 2022-23. The scheme was introduced in the Huzurabad Assembly constituency as a pilot project in July 2021.
"This programme is aimed at the eradication of not only poverty but also social discrimination. I do not have any doubts in saying that this programme would be a torchbearer for the rest of the country," said finance minister Harish Rao in his budget speech on Monday.
He added that Dalit Bandhu is not just a scheme but an attitude that will provide employment, self-respect and development. He said it is an effective policy, the beginning of a complete transformation. Once economic development is achieved, social discrimination will also subside. Human relationships will become more equal and flourish, the minister said. Every Dalit family in the state will get a financial assistance of Rs. 10 lakhs as part of the Dalit Bandhu scheme.
Mr. Rao said that by the end of March this year, approximately 40,000 families are going to benefit under Dalit Bandhu at a cost of Rs. 4,000 crore. The scheme will be implemented in the Huzurabad Assembly segment and four other mandals – Chintakani, Tirumalagiri, Nizamsagar and Charagonda. Apart from that, in all the 118 Assembly segments of the state, 11,800 families will benefit at the rate of 100 families per Assembly segment.
By the end of the next financial year, the programme would cover two lakh families. The government is determined to cover all Dalit families in the state in a phased manner, the minister added.
He also said that ever since the formation of Telangana, a number of measures have been taken for the welfare and development of Dalits. A special Act, the SC/ST Special Development Fund Act, was enacted. Funds as per their population proportion or even more were allotted for their development. There is a provision for non-lapse of these funds on a year-by-year basis, Mr. Rao said and added that Telangana is the first state to have such a provision.