The State government, which ensured financial empowerment of 40,000 Dalit beneficiaries in the last financial year through the path-breaking Dalit Bandhu scheme at a total cost of Rs.4,000 crore, intends to increase the coverage manifold, bringing in 1.75 lakh families under the programme net this financial year.

To this effect, the State government sanctioned Rs.17,700 crore in the 2022-23 financial year budget. Apart from extending financial assistance of Rs.10 lakh to each Dalit family, the State government also set up Dalit Rakshana Nidhi (Security Fund) to ensure that all Dalit families get financial assistance from the fund at times of distress.

In addition to the Rs.10,000 contribution by each family, the State government will also contribute equal amount towards the Dalit Rakshana Nidhi.

Not limiting its empowerment exercise to financial assistance under Dalit Bandhu, the TRS government is also facilitating 10 per cent reservation for Dalits in sanctioning licences

for medical shops, liquor shops, fertilisers and other businesses. Telangana, in fact, is the only State in the country to extend such support to Dalits.

Dalit Bandhu was launched as a pilot project in Huzurabad in 2021. It was introduced in four mandals of Chintakani in Khammam, Tirumalagiri in Nalgonda, Charakonda in Nagarkurnool and Nizam Sagar in Kamareddy districts under the pilot project.

Under Dalit Bandhu scheme, Each SC family is considered as a unit, and the State government deposits Rs.10 lakh assistance directly into the beneficiaries’ accounts without any bank linkage and extending 100 per cent subsidy.

Beneficiaries have the liberty of selecting any business project of their choice. While some have opted to purchase vehicles to launch cab service, others purchased tractors to use not only on their farm lands but also rent it out to others for agriculture operations. Many have also chosen poultry units.

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