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Thursday 7 February 2013

Less than half of budgetary allocation for SC, ST welfare spent: Ugrappa

Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 04.02.13
Less than half of budgetary allocation for SC, ST welfare spent: Ugrappa - The Hindu
Raped and beaten, Dalit girl is firm in resolve to make it big - The Hindu
Nodal agency to ensure utility - Deccan Herald
UPA flagship NREGS records sharp slide in job generation - Economic Times
The Hindu
Less than half of budgetary allocation for SC, ST welfare spent: Ugrappa
Special Correspondent
Dalits urged to strengthen secular forces, so that their welfare could be ensured
The former Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council V.S. Ugrappa on Sunday alleged that of the 22.56 per cent budgetary allocation for the welfare of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities, only 10 per cent had been spent.
Inaugurating a seminar on 'A thought on Dalit politics' organised by the Dalit Sangharsh Samiti-Karnataka, the Congress leader said the social welfare Ministers in 1976 resolved to allocate funds for SCs and STs commensurate with their population.
Mr. Ugrappa said while these sections were represented in the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies, it was not done in the Rajya Sabha and the Legislative Councils on the premise that they were Houses of intellectuals. Are there no intellectuals among the Dalits? he said.
He said that the MPs and MLAs being elected now did not belong to that category, barring a few. He said that Dalits, other backward classes and minorities, who formed 82.42 per cent of the population, should be empowered to formulate policies and programmes for all-round development.
The Congress leader regretted that all parties were only using Dalits as vote-banks, but unfortunately these communities did not realise the game plan. They should organise themselves and be in a position to dictate terms to the parties. Still there were differences between various groups among these castes and communities, he added.\
'Dalits supported BJP'
The former member of the Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes N.V. Narasimhaiah said Dalits played a major role in bringing the BJP to power in the State, but it did not take up any welfare measures for their uplift. He urged Dalits to strengthen secular forces, so that their welfare could be ensured. Mr. Annaiah said no party, including the Bahujan Samaj Party, was secular. He said the BJP fielded touchable Dalits to come power.
The Hindu


Raped and beaten, Dalit girl is firm in resolve to make it big

Vinaya Deshpande
72-year-old house-owner had promised to put the domestic help in school; 18-year-old male servant also assaulted her
The 13-year-old came here last year, resolved to study and make it big. Her 35-year-old mother of four, who is unemployed, widowed and illiterate, sent her to the city from a small hamlet in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh, hoping that her earnings would help to sustain the family. But Damayanti Koda (the name changed) is a distraught woman today.
"They promised me that they would put her in a good school if she came here and helped the family. They also got two new dresses stitched for her. I was very happy that my child would be spared the grind of poverty. I thought she would also help me feed the three mouths in the house. But look at what they have done to her. I will not send her anywhere now," a teary-eyed Damayanti told The Hindu.
Her daughter Saraswati (the name changed) was gang-raped twice by the 72-year-old house-owner and an 18-year-old male servant in December last in the house where she worked as a domestic help. A family friend of the accused had brought Saraswati from the hamlet to Kalyan in Thane district in July, promising the mother that she would be sent to school, given food and shelter in lieu of some household help for the pregnant daughter-in-law of the accused.
Around eight months ago, when Damayanti had come to drop her daughter at the house, she was charmed by their riches. "They have a sprawling house with two floors. They also have land in the area. After their friend offered to pay my daughter Rs. 2, 000 a month and promised to put her in school, I said, what will I do keeping her in poverty here? How am I to feed four children when I myself cannot work?" she said.
Her husband, a daily labourer, died three years ago after undergoing an operation to remove kidney stones. Damayanti has herself undergone an operation to remove stones from her gall bladder. The surgery has left her weak and frail, unable to work, depending on her parents and brother for support. The family has already borrowed money from relatives to pay up the medical expenses.
Her eldest daughter has studied up to Standard X and works as a domestic help in the village. Saraswati studied up to Standard VII before leaving school to go to Kalyan. Her two younger brothers are in school.
"When I came here, I was in awe of the family. They are rich. They kept me well. Bhabhiji promised me that she would send me to school. But two months after my coming here, there were no signs of it. They made me work continuously, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. I did not complain," Saraswati said.
Within two months, she started facing the lusty eyes of the house-owner, the girl alleged. He would frequent the place where she slept and touch her when she was asleep. He would even grab her when she worked alone in a room. When she complained to his daughter-in-law, she was beaten up and asked to keep quiet, Saraswati said.
Emboldened, the accused, along with an 18-year-old male servant, raped her on two occasions in December. When she cried, begging for help, they threatened her with dire consequences.
"They did not even allow me to call home … I was beaten up and threatened. One day, I was taken in a car, and they told me that the male servant who raped me would marry me after I turned 18. I refused it. They beat me up again and threatened to kill me, so I said yes," she said. But the feisty girl managed to call up her mother one day and asked her to take her home immediately.
"I sent my nephew from Nashik within two days after I received a call from her," Damayanti said. While her nephew picked up Saraswati from the house on January 2 this year, she came to the city only by January-end. With the help of an organisation named Hindu Rashtrasena, the family lodged a complaint with the Kalyan police on January 28 against the alleged rapists, the daughter-in-law and the woman who got Saraswati from Madhya Pradesh. While the two men are behind bars, the two women are yet to be arrested.
The police filed a case under Sections 376(2)(g), 506, 34 of the Indian Penal Code; Sections 4 and 12 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act; Sections 23 and 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act; and Section 3(1)(xi) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
A medical examination established that it was a case of rape, the police said.
Now Saraswati wants to put the past behind her. The sparkling eyes have turned dull and the smile disappears when someone talks about the incident.
When asked about it, she skirts the topic. "I want to go back to the village and study. I want to do a job and earn well," she says. She and her mother do not see any point in their staying back to get justice.
"I have four children to take care of. How can I stay back? We want to forget about it. Our family honour has been lost … We don't want anyone to know about it," Damayanti said. Getting Saraswati married in the next three-four years is her priority.
But Saraswati is firm in her resolve to study and make a good future for herself.
Deccan Herald
Nodal agency to ensure utility
Nellore:The SC/ST component in the Budget allocation for government departments such as roads and buildings and irrigation will be transferred to a nodal agency to use the same for SC/ST welfare programmes since it is difficult to identify the utility.
The finance ministry has taken the decision as implementation of SC/ST Sub-Plan becoming effective fr-om the ensuing financial year 2013-14. Finance minister has revealed this while speaking to this newspaper.
He said that the share for SC/ST component is 22.8 per cent in the Budget plan and it is difficult to identify their share in the schemes such as Jalayagnam, R&B and irrigation wings amo-ng others hence the decision to establish a nodal ag-ency to ensure proper utility.
Referring to the plans to introduce vote-on-account Budget this year, he said that standing committees are being formed with 40 to 45 members including legislators and legislative council members to prepare budget plans before the end of March.
He said that similar practice is in vogue in Kerala and legislative committees have studied the same so-me time ago. He said that budgetary allocation for Arogyasri and Jalayagnam will be similar to last Budget.
Reacting to a question on allotment for fees reimbursement scheme for next financial year, he said that they will allot whatever the amount required depending on the admissions and eligibility.
He said that the governm-ent is committed to continue the scheme and already taken steps to put an end to leakages. He added that there is no cap on expenditure for fees reimbursement scheme.
Economic Times
UPA flagship NREGS records sharp slide in job generation
Subodh Varma, TNN Feb 3, 2013, 06.53AM IST DELHI: While Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh waxed eloquent on the "success" of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and called it a key instrument for "financial inclusion" at a government conference in New Delhi on Saturday, latest data reveal a picture of declining employment generation under the scheme. Even more startling: Jobs created for the most marginalized sections - dalits and adivasis - have suffered the biggest decline.
Between 2009-10 and 2011-12, the total work generated by this flagship scheme declined from Rs 284 crore persondays to Rs 211 crore persondays. That's a dip of about 25% over the first three years of UPA II. (One personday is one person working for a day). The data for the current year up to January-end suggests that there will be a further dip in 2012-13.
Some states that have shown major decline in MGNREGS jobs over this period are Karnataka (65% decline), Rajasthan (53%), Assam (52%), Gujarat (47%), Bihar (45%) and Madhya Pradesh (40%). In most of these states, jobs for dalits have declined by 70% or more.
Only a handful of states â€" Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Jammu & Kashmir â€" have shown an increase in jobs created under the scheme. However, in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh this increase hides a bitter reality â€" work given to dalits actually declined while work given to "others", that is, upper caste poor, increased.
Work to dalits declined
In the case of dalit households, work created under MGNREGS came down by a staggering 46% over the first three years of UPA II, from about 86crore to 47crore persondays. Adivasi households too seem to be getting increasingly excluded from this lifeline of employment as work given to them declined by 35%, from 59crore to 38crore persondays. This data is put out by the ministry of rural development.
Participation of women too is on the decline. Between 2009-10 and 2011-12, work done by women in the scheme declined by 25%, from 136crore persondays down to 102crore persondays.
The latest data for the current year shows that a total of Rs 146 crore persondays of work under the scheme has been done as of February 2. With less than two months left in the year, it seems very unlikely that the total for the year would reach even the Rs 211 crore persondays recorded last year.
The trend is thus unmistakable â€" in each year, total jobs created under the scheme have declined, and the decline is more pronounced in the case of dalit and adivasi households.
Pramathesh Ambasta of the NREGA Consortium, an advocacy group, says that decline is taking place partly because there is lack of awareness that MGNREGS work is a right rather than something the "system will provide".
"Wherever implementing agencies have gone into campaign mode and efforts to step up demand have been made, mostly with civil society intervention, the persondays demanded and generated have both gone up dramatically," he said. Ambasta also points at shortage of dedicated human resources at the gram panchayat level, which delays planning, measurements and payments.
Rahul Banerjee of Khedut Mazdoor Chetna Sangathan in the remote tribal-dominated district of Alirajpur, Madhya Pradesh, says that shortage of technical and accounting manpower exists because they are supposed to be supported by state government funds which are always lacking.
"As the number of villages covered has increased, the number of people actually working has decreased because it becomes difficult for the skeletal staff to cover more villages and provide more work in them," he said.
Delays in payment of wages are a crucial factor in discouraging very poor families, like dalits and adivasis, from seeking MGNREGS work. According to government data, payments to about 27% of those who had worked were delayed by up to 30 days. That's a very long time for a cash-strapped family to survive in the lean season. So, they slip back into their customary ways â€" migrating out to work, or doing piecemeal manual labour for low wages.
"In Alirajpur, the labourers prefer to migrate to Gujarat and work as construction and agricultural labourers," said Banerjee.

.Arun Khote
On behalf of
Dalits Media Watch Team
(An initiative of "Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre-PMARC")
Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre- PMARC has been initiated with the support from group of senior journalists, social activists, academics and  intellectuals from Dalit and civil society to advocate and facilitate Dalits issues in the mainstream media. To create proper & adequate space with the Dalit perspective in the mainstream media national/ International on Dalit issues is primary objective of the PMARC.

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