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State govt washes its hands off SC students’ welfare

The government which is funding infrastructure projects across the state is making false excuses that it lacks funds for the upliftment of backward caste children says Preeti Sharma Menon.

Aam Aadmi Party leader Preeti Sharma Menon has criticised the BJP government for its failure to grant funds for the functioning of ashramshalas for children belonging to Scheduled castes. She said that the government which is spending lumpsum amount for construction of statues, sanctioning funds for large scale infrastructure projects and building smart cities is making excuses that it lacks funds for the welfare of children belonging to backward castes.

In 2003 ashramshalas were started across Maharashtra for children belonging to scheduled castes. These were to be funded by the Central Government. In 2010 it was decided that these will be funded by the Maharashtra State Government. However, it’s been 14 years but these ashramshalas have not received any funds.

“There are 322 such ashramshalas in Mumbai with around 4000 staff and 50,000 students, so far running with aid from local NGOs. Till date, they have been subjected to numerous inspections but have not been allotted the funds which they were promised. It is shocking how governments after governments launch schemes to supposedly uplift the poor but after the launch these schemes are abandoned,” said Preeti Sharma Menon.

Three hundred members of the ‘Kendriya Anusuchit Jaati Nivaasi Ashramshala Shikshak v Shikshakitar Karamchari Sangh’ have been protesting at Azad Maidan since 14th April and the government had given a blind eye toward them so far. Three persons are on a fast unto death but they have received no attention or assurance from the anti-Dalit BJP government. A delegation met Minister for Social Justice Rajkumar Badole, and though it is well within his purview, he claimed helplesslness.

Preeti had met the protestors at Azad Maidan. “BJP government should immediately grant the funds as this whole ashramshala scheme is a government initiative and education of our children should be a top expenditure priority,” added Preeti.

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