According to reports, the Telangana CM Dalit Bandhu Scheme 2021 is a flagship program of the Telangana Government launched under the leadership of Minister Sri. K. Chandrashekar Rao to promote Dalit empowerment across the state. In current affairs, it was mentioned that the government is planning on spending Rs. 80,000 crore to 1 lakh crore for Dalit Bandhu, proposed to be the biggest and the most direct beneficiaries of the transfer scheme. It was decided to first implement the Dalit Bandhu on a pilot basis in Huzurabad Assembly Constituency, which was due for bye-elections. This had drawn widespread criticism by the Opposition which hinted it to be a poll stunt. The Government had suggested that this not a mere scheme or program but a movement that the state government should encourage with the centre for pan India implementation.
What is it?
It is a scheme that will empower the Dalit class of the state through the enablement of entrepreneurship by giving a direct benefit transfer of Rs 10 Lakh per family. It is the biggest cash transfer scheme in the country. All the 11,900 Dalit families, 100 from each 119 Assembly constituencies in the state would be selected for cash assistance of Rs. 10 lakh each without any bank guarantee to start their business. An initial outlay of Rs. 1,200 crore was sanctioned.
Location of the implementation of the Dalit Badhu Scheme
The pilot implementation took place in the Huzurabad Assembly Constituency. Based on the results of Huzurabad, the scheme was then rolled out across the state in a phased manner. Officials had visited Dalit families before the scheme was finalized to add the valuable personal input of the Dalit families themselves. The beneficiaries were selected from 20,929 Dalit families of the constituency after the scrutiny based on the above-mentioned guidelines.
According to reports, the pilot project focussed on monitoring the implementation of the scheme, evaluating the results, and also creating safety funds for the beneficiaries with the government’s participation. Apart from the sum of Rs. 1,200 crore for starting the scheme, another Rs. 2,000 crores has been announced by the CM for the pilot project in Huzurabad.
Criticism faced by the Dalit Bandhu Scheme
The Congress party has called the Dalit Bandhu Scheme a poll stunt and a manipulative game by the Ministers to acquire the Dalit chunk of votes in the bypolls. The party has also put forward questions of need and the intent behind the scheme when the government had failed in standing by their existing legislation and schemes for the protection and empowerment of Dalits.
Another criticism that came up was the implementation of the scheme in Huzurabad. The question raised was that why wasn’t the pilot run done in an SC constituency with the highest marginalization? The major reaction was that the minister was wrong in gaining political mileage from rolling out welfare schemes to manipulate the vote flow.
In a brief overview, it can be safely said that the Telangana Government had pure intentions in the introduction of the Dalit Bandhu Scheme but due to various political forces in play in a country like India, it was met with mixed reactions.